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O’Conner (2003) argued that if writer and his audience are in loggerhead relationship, shared understanding, which is crucial if the writer is to effectively communicate to his audience, cannot exist. She further argues that one trait of a good writer is one who can be read by his audience without so much struggle on the part of the reader. There is a misconception that a brilliant writer is that whose work is hard to understand (Rousseau, 2005). But nothing is further from the truth.

The fact is, the opinion of the reader is rarely wrong. If the writer opines that something he is reading is not making sense to him, chances are that this is no fault of his (O’Conner, 2003). Rather, it is the fault of the writer. And, on the other hand, if the writer feels that what he is writing is not purveying the point he wishes to the reader, then probably it is his fault. Sometimes, the writer might, through design or otherwise, intimidate his readers by giving them something that they cannot understand (Rousseau, 2005). This is not complexity, according to O’Conner, but confusion (2003). It is a practice that was rife in ancient Greek, where cranking up the level of complexity of what you are talking about concealed the fact that you might not, as the orator, know what you are talking about yourself (O’Conner, 2003).

But O’Conner (2003) cautions that simplicity should not be taken for simplemindedness. An efficient writer can articulate a complicated point with a touch of simplicity. To achieve this, clarity must exist both in the writer’s work and mind (O’Conner, 2003). This is the reason why most of the writers find this a difficult fete to achieve.

If clarity of writing and mind exist concurrently, the writing is likely to create an impression on the reader (Rousseau, 2005). The reader will experience a cocktail of emotions. He will be delighted

Professional Writing

by the writing, surprised and at the same time informed. This, according to Rousseau (2005) is the epitome of good writing. But, as O’Conner (2003) opines, it cannot exist if the writer and the reader are not operating from the same pedestal.


O’Conner, P. (2003). Woe is I: The grammarphobe’s guide to better English in plain English. Ne

w York: Riverhead Books, 195-196.

Rousseau, G. B. (2005). Becoming a good writer: Myths and misconceptions. Long  Beach:

Cengen Books, 234.