Typically, most writing falls into one of these three categories:
These categories are not mutually exclusive—a lot of writing falls into two categories, or sometimes even all three.
For example, many great books are entertaining, persuasive, and educational. However, there’s usually one theme that is more dominant than the rest.
If you’re at an education company, then making your writing educational is the top priority. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be entertaining or persuasive—but it does mean that the main focus should be on educating your readers.
Here are some tips to make your writing more educational.
1. Keep It as Simple as Possible
Albert Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” OK, yes, he was talking about theoretical physics—but the same principle applies to writing.
If your writing is more complicated than it needs to be, you’ll confuse readers. Simple writing is also about being clear and concise, which helps with both understanding and retention.
Before you set out to write educational materials, it’s often useful to take a step back and think about the big picture. What are the main concepts and ideas you’re trying to teach? Once you answer that, you should try to explain them in a way that a layperson can understand.
2. Be Consistent and Logical
Writing cannot be educational if it lacks consistency and logic. Readers need to be able to follow your ideas as they’re presented. Otherwise, those readers will be confused and won’t learn the material. Another problem is that readers will become skeptical of the information, and they might even question your company’s credibility.
You can avoid this by explaining your reasoning and rationale, as well as by correcting any statements that contradict one another.
Sometimes it can be tough to spot the illogical and inconsistent parts of our own writing, so it’s typically a good idea to have someone else check over your work.
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3. Include Examples
Another way to make your writing more educational is to use examples because most people find it easier to learn things that are realistic and practical.
Without examples, your writing might seem too abstract and theoretical.
For instance, let’s say you’re training marketing professionals on how to analyze data. You could use an example of how to compare the return on investment of two different advertisements. This approach illuminates the concepts and makes them stick.
4. Break the Material Up Into Smaller Chunks
Information is easier to digest when it’s broken up into smaller chunks. If you throw too much at readers at once, they won’t understand and retain it.
- Start off with everything you want to cover.
- Then start thinking about all of the smaller units and modules that fit into the general topic.
Let’s go back to our example from the previous section. Data analysis is a broad topic, so we’ll have to break it up into smaller units—such as collecting data, performing calculations, creating graphs, interpreting results, etc.
5. Make the Information Interesting and Engaging
One problem with some educational materials is that they’re dry and boring, so it’s hard to hold the learner’s attention.
The best solution for this is to make your writing interesting and engaging. That doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be funny or entertaining—although that can sometimes help.
What it means is that you want to present the material in such a way that readers see the relevance. Examples and stories can help. Another great way to make information relevant is to show how it can be applied.
By incorporating these suggestions into your writing, you make it easier for your readers to learn what you’re trying to teach them.
If you need copy editing help for educational materials, contact us today for a free quote.