Communication of ideas is the main purpose of all writing endeavors. Whether you are writing a letter, a script for a speech, a novel or a monograph, your purpose is to relay a message to the audience. To increase your chances of achieving this objective, you must adopt an outside view of your own work. In other words, you need to see it as your reader might. When writing a speech, understanding the audience’s point of view is an exceedingly complicated endeavor. Therein, you would need to develop a broad comprehension of the diverse demographic groups within your audience, their lifestyle habits, ideological inclinations and even subjective tastes. On the other hand, this task becomes much easier when you are writing a letter because there, you only need to address one person.
However, as straight-forward as this task may appear to be, its apparent simplicity can be deceiving. In all likelihood, your letter is probably going to be addressed to a friend, relative or an authority figure. While the content of your statements may be factually accurate and your claims may adhere to a rigorous structure of logical argument, the reader exercises full discretion in his evaluative judgment of your work. Regardless of how hard you try to persuade a government official to adopt your policy proposal, he can reject your claim for no reason at all. When you find yourself embroiled in an argument with a friend, he may still reject your claim, regardless of much you appeal to his or her emotions or how effectively you mount your argument.
In stark contrast, your professor does not have carte blanche over your paper’s evaluation. That is why they will always distribute an official document of instructions and a rubric. Therein, they will typically provide the following information.
- The number of pages your paper should have
- The sources you should use
- The questions you need to answer
- Other information discussed in class that needs to be incorporated therein
If you did not receive a document of instructions or it is missing any of the aforementioned content, you would be well advised to contact your professor immediately. The Golden Rule of Essay writing is that it is always better to have too much information than too little. Never hesitate to ask questions when you do not have enough information and when you are unclear about the requirements, always question the professor about that, regardless of how redundant or unnecessary your inquiry may seem. It is better to risk aggravating your instructor with a pointless question than to complete a paper based on incomplete or inaccurate information.