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Sample text

Perhaps your readers are single parents looking for ways to amuse their children. Tell them how. Perhaps readers want to improve their tennis serve. Give them some tips. You, I, everyone reads with the same basic question: What's in this for me? Entertainment? Instruction ? Inspiration? Emotional comfort? Laughs? Whatever the impression you wish to make, there must always be a payoff to it , always some way in which it fulfills a reader's needs. You as writer must determine what these needs are, these problems , these yearnings and emotional gaps-and fill them.

Because the second author has treated us as her equals. Whenever you wish to write convincing prose, address your readers as intelligent, informed peers. Your readers may not in fact be intelligent or informed, but that's their problem. Your problem is to make them think that they are. In this manner you win readers' good will and at the same time advance them toward seeing things the way you see them, for it is an established fact that we believe those people we like far more readily than those we dislike .

Testimonials. Statistics and interesting facts. Aphorisms, proverbs, sayings, witticisms. Bulleted items (as here). The best thing about these examples is that they take you off the hot seat and let others speak in your place. They are a kind of author's freebee that helps add stylistic variety to your prose, provides a diversion for the reader, and, best of all, invokes the voice of outside authority to bolster whatever point you are making . Let others make you sound good. Similarly, but with an emphasis on quotations and aphorisms, there are few devices that make prose scintillate more than amusing, apptopriate, and/or wise literary citations.

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