HOW TO WRITE,
Based On The 7 System
by Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© December 2018, L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
All information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment, prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
The 7 system can be applied to writing an article, a story, or a book:
This section answers the question “What is this article about?” It should include:
I. Overview or general comments
II. Definitions and words used in the article that people may not know.
2. BASIC INFORMATION
This section includes practical or “nuts and bolts” information, basic procedures, and other basic and critical information about your topic. It answers the question: “Tell me about this topic.”
3. MORE TOPICS
This is a continuation of #2 above. For example, in a health article, it might include causes, symptoms, therapies and prevention. It answers the question: “What else do I need to know about this topic?”
This section or chapter concerns what others think about the topic, or other views about the topic.
For example, it could include medical, legal, religious, political, economic or social perspectives and views. It could include familial, societal, professional groups, ethnic, racial, social class, occupational, sexual groups, identity groups, and the view of other groups of people about your topic.
It answers the question: “What do others or other groups of people think about this topic?”
5. IMPLICATIONS OF WHAT HAS BEEN PRESENTED SO FAR
This section broadens the topic and answers the question: “What are the implications, effects or ramifications of the information presented so far?”
This is an important chapter or section because it ties together the topic and projects it outward into the world. Otherwise, the article will just sound like a textbook entry that is dull and does not go anywhere.
6. OTHER RELATED TOPICS
This chapter or section adds even more breadth and depth to the article or book. It brings in related, additional, peripheral, tangential and other topics that have something to do with to the main topic of the article or book.
7. CONCLUSIONS (and perhaps a summary or brief review)
This chapter or section pulls everything together, draws larger conclusions, and integrates all the information presented earlier in the article or book. It is a culmination and overall view that is very helpful for the reader.
This chapter or section addresses the questions: “What are the larger implications or the big picture?” and “Where Do We Go From Here?”
THE ABOVE AS A 14 SYSTEM
For longer articles, it is best to have two chapters for each of the seven sections above. The first one includes more information. The second part expands upon the first part with:
- more breadth
- more depth or profundity
OTHER WRITING SUGGESTIONS
- Assume that your reader knows very little or nothing about your topic. Therefore, begin with very basic material and basic principles, and go from there.
- It is often helpful to think of your audience as older children, rather than as adults, even if you are writing for adults. This does not demean your audience. However, many people do not think clearly and need things explained very well.
- Always define any word you use that could be confusing, not well known, or just very important for your topic. Do not assume people understand the meaning of words.
- Keep your sentences short and direct. Long sentences are hard to follow.
- Use active voice for powerful writing. For example, say “The article discusses the topic” rather than “The topic was discussed in the article”.
- Use short paragraphs to break up the writing. Long paragraphs are hard to follow and boring.
- Use plenty of sub-headings to also break up the writing and let people know what you will talk about. Sub-headings are wonderful.
- If you need to discuss a number of items, use a list, as I have done below.
- Be patient. Writing is a special skill. Reviewing your articles a number of times is helpful. Leave your writing overnight and look at it again in the morning. This is necessary for excellent writing.
By doing the above for all your articles, speeches and books, you will:
- cover your topic well.
- keep the reader or listener interested
- easily move your audience along a path of deeper understanding and appreciation for your topic.
Enjoy the process and maybe you will get a good job as a writer. There is always a need for people who can write well.