Write More Clearly By Using Examples

A common failure in our writing is that what we write is too abstract.

A common failure in our writing is that what we write is too abstract.

Know what I mean? Of course not. How could you? I’m being too abstract.

Let me give you an example.

Say you’re describing gravity, and you write, “The gravitational force between two objects in space obeys the inverse square law.” Huh? That statement is accurate but it doesn’t tell your readers anything because it’s not clear, not concrete. The best your readers can do is remember it — but you haven’t given them the tools to understand it.

So, what tools can you give your readers to help them understand new concepts? Examples.

Like this….

The gravitational force between two objects in space obeys the inverse square law. For example, if you have two planets near each other, and you double their distance, the gravity remaining between them will be only 1/4 as strong as it was. Quadruple their distance, and their gravitational force will now be only 1/16 its original strength.

Whenever you introduce a new concept, especially one that’s even slightly abstract or technical or otherwise difficult to understand in concrete terms by itself, give examples.

Your writing will be much clearer, and your readers will be grateful.

About the Author

Robbie Hyman is a professional communications and public affairs writer. He has 15 years’ experience writing for nonprofits, small business and multibillion-dollar international organizations and is available as a freelance writer for federal agencies.

Robbie has written thousands of pages of content, including white papers, speeches, published articles, reports, manuals, newsletters, video scripts, advertisements, technical document and other materials. He is also co-founder of MoneySavvyTeen.com, an online course that teaches smart money habits to teenagers.