There is 1 indispensable element that considerably improves the readability of your texts. A relatively simple principle, yet many writers forget it during their writing process. As a result, readers often get lost in an article. That is a shame, because then they will drop out earlier and you will lose them. You can easily prevent this with ‘navigation’ within your texts . Direction indicators in your text With a few simple, yet powerful, techniques you can let your reader know where he is in the article, at any time. This not only increases the readability of your text, you also stimulate your readers to read on. In this blog I will tell you how these ‘ transition techniques ‘ work and how you can continue to fascinate your readers. Determine position: how GPS was discovered by accident To navigate, you must first determine your position. In daily life, that is now a piece of cake with your phone. But that has not been the case for very long. Did you know that GPS was invented by chance 60 years ago? In 1957, Russia launched the Sputnik satellite, to everyone’s surprise. The Americans in particular were quite in shock. US President Dwight Eisenhower openly acknowledged that the Russians now had the decisive lead. Two American physics students, William Guier and George Wieffenbach, found it fascinating and decided to experiment. They place a listening station on the roof of their laboratory to pick up signals from the Sputnik. They soon noticed something special. Even with just the beep, beep beep, which they caught from the Sputnik, they saw that the radio frequency of the satellite channel was constantly changing. They decided to monitor the satellite 24 hours a day, in turn. That way, they knew where the satellite was at all times. A different view leads to insight That was an interesting fact, but their study coach challenged them even further and asked them to turn the problem around. “If you know where the satellite is located,” he said, “then you should be able to turn it around and find out where you are.” And so the very first version of GPS came into existence. Today we are used to know exactly where we are and where we are going at any time. On the street then, but does that also apply to your texts? Reading tip : Write a good blog Show your readers the way When you write an article, you usually share a lot of information. Readers often have no idea whether you are writing about your first idea, whether you are in the middle of your second idea or if you are in the process of closing your article. It makes your article much more accessible if you let the reader know where you are in your article and where you are going. This is easy with the so-called “transition techniques”. These instructions in your text help your readers easily navigate through your text. That way, they know where they are and where you are going as a writer. 3 simple writing tips to help readers navigate Technique 1: The hook. Technique 2: The numbering system. Technique 3: Sarah’s italics (italics). Technique 1: The hook You probably know this technique if you follow Netflixt or other drama series: the hook at the end of the episode. Instead of slowly concluding and writing to a “and they lived happily ever after” situation, the script writers place a sort of hook so that you become curious about the next episode. Think of the cliffhanger of Good Times, Bad Times at the end of the season. This one is usually pretty dramatic – a murder or something – to make sure you look again in September. Certainly if you come up with a new idea, a parenthesis increases legibility considerably. In a text it may be a little less dramatic, but it is nevertheless very useful to show your reader that you are moving on to the next paragraph or idea. Certainly if you come up with a new idea, a parenthesis increases legibility considerably. Take this article for example. It has 3 ideas: the parenthesis, the numbering system and Sarah’s italics. I place brackets between those three ideas. At the end of every idea, I suggest that something new is coming. The hook is also often used in fairy tales. That is one of the reasons why they are so easy to read (and also children can easily follow). The navigation in fairy tales The story of Goudlokje is perhaps best to illustrate brackets. In this fairy tale, Goldilocks break into the house of the three bears. The three phases in the story are: “she eats porridge, sits in the chairs and, finally, falls asleep on one of the beds.” After phase 1 about eating the porridge, you can then end with: “But that wasn’t all. Goudlokje was not yet completely satisfied after licking the porridge. She was bored and went to browse the house. ” The hook in different forms Do you recognize the parenthesis here? You know that a transition is coming. This is evident from the announcement in the last lines of the relevant section or episode. That may also be something else than an announcement. You can also cast it in the form of a question, for example: Goudlokje was not completely satisfied after licking the porridge. Do you know what she did next? Reading tip : How to write catchy stories for your blog and sales emails Better readability and the attention of the reader Whatever you choose, both are suitable as a parenthesis to indicate a transition. But they do even more. A parenthesis stimulates the curiosity of your reader. That is simply in our nature. Think again of that cliffhanger: the murder at the end of GTST. Who did it? And is the person in question really dead or will he get up again next season? A parenthesis stimulates the curiosity of your reader. That little hook at the end of an idea pushes your reader forward to the next idea and keeps it captivated. This is one way to initiate the transition. The second method is more visible to the reader because it works with numbers. Technique 2: The numbering system Did you understand how I guided you from the first to the second idea? In addition, I also call it “Technique 2”. Certainly now that I am telling you, it will be obvious. Yet some writers are so absorbed in their writing that they forget to include their readers in the design and progress of their story. As a writer, you yourself know exactly when you will move on to the next topic or part. However, this is not always clear to the reader. For him, the text is a long straight road, unless you put signs along the side of the road where he can see where he is. Numbers, words and other options for navigating The numbering in this technique immediately attracts the reader’s attention, but in addition to the numbering you have to explain what each new idea entails, in words. For instance: Method 2: The numbering system Strategy 2: The other option for retirement Bag 2: The problem With these types of texts, the reader immediately knows that he is now in a different section. He is not lost because this numbering acts as a “You are here” sign. Instead of the numerical value you can of course also indicate the progress with words such as: first, second and third or first, next and last . As long as your reader knows where he is. Is it better to use the parenthesis method or the numbering system? You can know that for yourself. You can even make a combination. If we go back to the analogy of the road; Have you noticed the signs when leaving or entering an area or city? There you see, for example: You are leaving Dordrecht. Welcome to the Biesbosch . At a glance you know what you are leaving behind and what lies ahead. Nice and clear, right? I prefer to use both techniques in my articles because they are clear signals to readers where they are in the article. After these two techniques, a third remains, which may have a vague title. You know there will be a third, because I announced it earlier (to demonstrate the transition techniques in this article again). I read that last way to connect in an article about readability and is called “Sarah’s italics”. Technique 3: Sarah’s italics In that article the writer describes this transition technique of a fellow student on a writing course. Her name is Sarah Hamilton and she used italic letters as a visual attention grabber to indicate that a change is coming. According to this technique, I would have written the last sentence of the previous paragraph as follows: “I read that last way to connect in an article about readability and is called Sarah’s italics .” That way you can very subtly indicate a transition. If you would mark the words differently, for example in bold or red, it would have no effect or would be too loud. Italics is an excellent way to subtly mark a difference. Often sentences in a foreign language or references to books are shown in italics, for example ” Partir, c’est mourir un peu” , or the book ” The man who held his wife for a hat “. You see: italic letters create contrast. That contrast draws the reader’s attention: “Hey, there is something else here, so pay attention.” Umbrella can perform such an important task without attracting too much attention. Pretty pretty actually! Reading tip : Creating a blog: doing it yourself or outsourcing? Three ways to mark transition In summary: to improve the readability of your text, it is necessary that your reader knows where he is in your article. You can help him with three transition techniques. The first is the parenthesis at the end of a section. That can be an announcement or a question, or a combination of both. The second is the numbering system, such as Method 2, Strategy 3 and so on. But you can also use first, second and third – or first, middle and last – very well. And finally we have Sarah’s italics. A very subtle way to emphasize a change with italics. Does your reader really need that? As a writer, we often think that we put all the necessary elements in our articles. That is because we use certain elements very often. There are writing techniques for the introductory sentence, for the first fifty words, for the headers, for the summary – and now for these, for the transition of ideas. If all of these elements and writing techniques do not seem very artificial, you might ask yourself. And are we not scaring the reader off enormously? No, this does not scare the reader. And yes, your reader needs this. We know that because we have been watching television series in this way for years. Watching television requires less effort from our brains than reading and yet script writers use those brackets. Reading requires more effort. Moreover, we read so much information every day that the reader is grateful if you make it as easy as possible for him. Content and technology Another reason why you can apply these techniques without coming across as artificial is because nobody reads all your articles from start to finish. Between your one article and your next article, your reader has probably already read a few hundred e-mails, 5 reports, half a novel and 23,000 Facebook messages. Then he really doesn’t know anymore which formula you used in your previous article. Moreover, practically every film, every book and every story uses the same identical formula. If you hadn’t noticed that, it was because the content was so interesting. Hold on to your readers Of course it is important to fascinate your readers with the content of your articles, but the transition techniques certainly make it easier for your readers to absorb that interesting information. A little trouble for you with these writing tips, but super important if you want to improve the readability of your articles and keep the attention of your reader! Outsourcing catchy texts? CopyRobin offers ‘copywriting as a service’. Place a free trial assignment Let’s block ads! (Why?)

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