Sunday, December 15, 2013

How Do I Structure my Text?

Question (Photo credit: sk8geek)
by The Dutch PhD Coach:

Do you find it difficult to get a good structure in your text?

There is a simple solution. Readers Questions! Readers Questions? Yep, simple as that.

In order to understand what readers questions are, it is necessary to look in a somewhat different way to what a text is. Because how do you think about text ?

Many PhD students forget that they do not write a text for themselves, but that their text is intended for a reader.

That sounds like an open door (as we say it in Dutch, meaning it’s obvious), and that might be the case, but what is the consequence for you that your text is actually intended for a reader?

The consequence should be that you are trying to answer questions that the reader has about your topic. So if you want a good structure for your text, you can ask yourself :

- What do my readers already know about the subject?
- What questions can I therefore not avoid answering?
- What questions do need to be answered for my reader?
- In what order can I best present these questions?

If you get clear on that, you can simply write text in response to those questions. So just imagine that you are sitting across your reader, and that he or she asks you questions about the topic you want to write about. That makes writing a lot easier!
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