How I Write

March 5, 2012

By Tad Fry

Welcome to the behind-the-scenes edition of how I write (I know you’re excited). It’s simple right? Think about stuff and write about it. If it were only that easy—actually it can be easy if you adhere to the writing format I’m about to share.

We of course take composition in high school & college, and are shown the ropes of how to use logos, pathos, and ethos to write essays. It’s valuable information, but what I found most useful was discovering a simple, yet amazing, format that fosters prolific and meaningful writing.

The course was Communication Theory at Baldwin-Wallace College, taught by Dr. Mary C. Toale. We wrote a paper each week based on a theory we wanted to discuss. She provided the following format to help us achieve that goal:

  1. Select a theory and introduce it (First paragraph).
  2. Build on it or argue for/against it (Next 3 paragraphs).
  3. Conclude (Last paragraph).

That format helped me stay focused and get to the point. Those elements were important to me when I decided I wanted to write more often. I want to share what I know very quickly, and hopefully others will find it useful.

If you want to write more material and more often, then I highly recommend this format. Choose your topic, find how you can introduce it, discuss it within 3 paragraphs (focused), and then conclude. Sure, there are times where you’ll need an extra paragraph or two, but try to exercise restraint because it can lead to slim and solid writing.