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Is it possible to create intelligent writing without opening a thesaurus? Absolutely. However, it also depends on several key factors such as your target audience. If you’re speaking to a group of 10-year old kids, do you use complex words? Probably not. So, how do you create content that makes you appear intelligent?
For the most part, intelligent writing is based on the perspective of yourself and the audience. It all depends on whether you can connect with a reader to share an idea or not.
If you can engage people on their level, it’s easy to create anything and make it sound absolute.
Applying Intelligent Writing is Subjective
What one person may think of intelligent, another may easily dismiss. This doesn’t mean the content was false in any way. It just means intelligent writing is influenced by tastes and opinions.
Know the Difference Between Intelligent and Educated
There is a difference between being intelligent and having a good education. For one thing, intelligence is the potential to gather knowledge while being educated is the result from receiving that knowledge.
When putting intelligent writing to work for you, is it the goal to show off your knowledge? Perhaps you want to be looked upon as an expert or professional in your field. In either case, you’ll need to know how to interact with the target audience.
Know Your Target Audience
The audience is going to play the biggest role in how you create any content. If you’re targeting the more serious and educated minds, you’ll probably use more advanced terminology.
To whom are you targeting?
Before you create any content, you need to understand the people you want to engage. Are they going to be confused by long and complicated words? Will they accept the information you’re trying to convey?
You need to know to whom you’re marketing before you can create any intelligent writing. It won’t matter if you use complex words if the audience is unable to understand.
Look at how text books are created from first grade through college. Publishers use much simpler language in the earlier years and gradually become more advanced. That’s because the developers are targeting specific age groups while trying to understand the children’s abilities.
Does this mean you need to “dumb down” your content? Not necessarily. Like I said, it all depends on those you want to read your material.
Do you need an extensive vocabulary?
An extensive vocabulary doesn’t necessarily mean intelligent writing. Anyone can open a thesaurus and plug in a word they think will work.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in an advanced word as long as you’re able to define it for the reader. This helps demonstrate your handle of language while helping the reader feel like they learned something new.
Just make sure you do so without sounding patronizing or condescending. There’s a huge difference between showing intelligence and showing off.
Are you relaying scientific data and facts?
In my opinion, the hardest part about expressing intelligent writing is delivering scientific data and facts. A lot of the time, you’ll come across information that is just too advanced for the target audience.
Don’t assume your readers are “too dumb” for complexity. Most of them are probably just not highly educated. I know a lot of people who are exceptionally intelligent without having education to back it up.
In fact, I am one of them. My ability to learn is exceptionally high, but I don’t have a degree in any field of study.
When I write for a client, I try hard to make the information as easy to read as possible. Unfortunately, this sometimes involving using language that is above average reading level. That’s when I try to explain what the subject matter is in a way where someone feels like they gained knowledge.
Practice Good Spelling and Grammar
In many instances, intelligent writing is more related to spelling and grammar over word use. In fact, I’ll trust a website less if the author has a lot of misspelled words in the content.
I’ve abandoned many websites because of poor spelling and grammar issues. It doesn’t appear professional and makes me feel like the writer didn’t take the effort to proofread.
I’m not saying you have to offer perfect grammar to be seen as intelligent. No one is 100% perfect. But catching easy misspellings, such as the difference between “public” and “pubic,” makes the work look far more educated.
And it will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes.
Making it Easy to Absorb
OK, so I am not trying to sound political here. But the issues surrounding the 2016 election in the United States is a good example of making content easy to absorb. With short messages and memes throughout social media, many people were influenced to vote a certain way.
Making content easy to understand is far more influential than knowing a complete list of synonyms of every word. A well-written single line of text has potential for incredible engagement.
This is all part of knowing your target audience. If you already know how they’ll react, you’re half-way to intelligent writing. All you need now is to create something that resonates within the reader.
It’s All About the Message
The bottom line is creating content your audience will read. It’s the message you deliver that demonstrates your intelligence and education. It’s not always about using large words that only Masters Degree holders will appreciate…unless that’s your audience.
If you deliver an easy-to-understand piece while sounding authoritative, you will appear intelligent to the audience. However, you don’t want to try to spread false information. The educated audience will begin poking holes in the message.
When I began writing professionally, I was far too clinical. I used terms the average person wouldn’t be able to follow. This doesn’t bode well for many clients, and I had to rethink how I create content.
Since then, I’ve found a great deal of success.
Intelligent Writing Doesn’t Mean Advanced Writing
A large and complex piece of content doesn’t mean your audience will think you’re a genius. In fact, there are a lot of people who worship certain individuals in the public eye as brilliant leaders without complexity in word structure. If you can connect with the audience, anything you deliver will be viewed as genius…even if it’s not.