The short (and easy) answer to this question is that good writing gets read and bad writing doesn’t.
It starts to get more complicated though when you ask why one piece of writing gets read while another doesn’t.
There can be just as many reasons for why a reader keeps reading as there are different types of texts. There can also be reasons why one reader keeps reading while another doesn’t.
But let’s return to simpler (and more practical) answers.
Looking back on our many years of experience of both writing and teaching different types of writing across a vast range of subjects, we’ve come to believe there is a simple answer:
Write from the reader’s point of view.
Regardless of what you’re writing, whether it’s a report, a dissertation or a love letter, focus on your target reader and think about what they want or need to read. Start writing with this in mind and keep bringing your focus back to this if you get stuck at any point.
Good writing gets read. Make your writing ‘reader-centred’ by writing what your reader wants or needs to read.
If this sounds too simple, try it out the next time you have to write something!
What do you think makes a good piece of writing? Do you think it changes depending on the type of writing it is?