Keep It Simple
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Hi. I’m Julie Dolan, Professor of Political Science here at Macalester College, and I’m here today to talk to you about keeping it simple. Good writers keep it simple by boiling down complex ideas into their most essential components. They use prose that is accessible and digestible so that someone who knows very little about the topic at hand will understand what it is they are trying to communicate. But let me be clear, I’m not saying you should only write about simple things, or that you should stay away from complex ideas because it would be difficult to portray in a simple way. To the contrary, your writing should engage difficult concepts and require a bit of thinking and reflection on the part of your reader. But the key is, you want them to reflect upon the actual arguments that you’re making, rather than struggle to figure out what in the world it is that you are trying to say. Don’t try to confuse your reader by using difficult language, but instead illuminate for them by keeping it simple. Good luck, and write well.