Sometime you’ll find you have a focus before
you begin; other times your focus will emerge during
the writing; sometimes you have to stand back and
play with the emerging document to shape a focus.
- What’s most important?
- What will my readers be looking for?
- What will my readers want to know more about?
- Can I identify a logical progression of ideas
- Might there be a better order for the content?
- Have I captured enough of the specifics?
- Get yourself a set of colored highlighter pens
- Work with a hard copy of your document
- Take one pen, quickly read through your document,
highlighting everything that seems to have some
kind of common theme
- Take a second pen, again quickly read through
the document marking other paragraphs/sections that
seem to have a different theme.
- Repeat a third and fourth time, if necessary
- Now lay out your pages according to the predominant
- Open your document file, “Save As” using
a new file name—now cut all the information
that’s highlighted in other than the predominant
color (Be sure to paste this material into your
out-takes file—you might well want it later!)
- Now read what you have – it will certainly
be shorter, and it ought to have a definite focus
Use A Reader: Ask For Feedback
- Have someone read what you’ve written—it’s
useful to tell him or her just what kind of feedback
you’re looking for. Another person often can
see what you’re driving at more easily than
you can; you’re too close to the writing