6 Tips For Writing About Complex Subjects in Simple Terms


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Everyone who’s been to school knows how crucial it is for a writer to be an expert in the field and know how to distill all their expert thoughts into paper.

Just take your least favorite textbook. I bet it has a bad rep, mainly because a complex idea is written in even more complex words.

So, if you want to come off as a true professional in your writing, you need to know the little tips and tricks that will make your texts sound less complicated and more reader-friendly.

white paper on brown wooden table

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Get the Research Ready

To get started with any piece of writing, you need to do at least a bit of research.

No matter how well you know the topic and what a great expert you are, humbling yourself with research allows you to see other people’s perspectives.

Once you know what’s hard for others and how other experts deal with this topic, it’ll be easy to not miss a single thing when explaining.

I usually look for frequently asked questions on the topic, so when I write my papers, no popular concerns are left uncovered. Once you get through your mandatory research, it’s time for the next point.

Connect With Your Reader

While you can begin writing with a simple knowledge of who your reader group is, the best is to dig a bit deeper. What is the purpose of your writing?

Why are you targeting a specific group?

What is the main point you’re trying to convey? All of these questions are not just to be ticked off the list. You’ll get invaluable information if you really try to answer those.

Finding the purpose of targeting the audience and uncovering a specific subject will help you define the exact means you can use to do so. If your reader is a somewhat specific, knowledgeable group, you’ll have a bit of leeway in the use of complex structures, jargon, and technical terms.

You can avoid explaining the starter-level knowledge your audience already has and concentrate on the specifics of your original idea.

Say you’re trying to popularize one of your favorite scientific concepts to a wider audience. In this case, you should come back to the beginner stuff.

There’s a big chance that someone who delves into your writing is going to be somewhat knowledgeable on the topic, but you can’t take chances on account of other people that know absolutely nothing on the matter.

The simpler you start, the fewer details you include, and the simpler the language – the more chances your writing will be a hit!

man sitting on pathway writing on paper

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Be Structured And Precise

Now that you’re done analyzing your reader, you should note that the structure of your writing doesn’t really need to change with your audience.

One rule differentiates a good piece on a complex subject from the average, and it’s the form. It’s a universally accepted truth that a shorter format appeals to a wider audience. It’s easier to understand, accept, and remember.

You can see it everywhere in popular media. In the realm of video, it first started with YouTube. There, the videos were just a shorter format of documentaries and movies. Now, we’re plagued with TikToks that can explain a short history of the world in 3 minutes or less.

Writing has strived to be short too, but any scientific research always gravitates toward a long format. It’s an inconvenient myth that you need more words to explain harder topics.

Pay more attention to the content you put out and make your paragraphs short. Separate each idea from the next one with a new line. This physical space makes it easier to absorb every detail.

There’s also no need to make the entire thing a dissertation – the fewer details you include, the more chances that people will remember the main points and not be distracted by all the non-specifics.

Use Analogies

Another short point that needs to be made is the use of comparisons and examples. It’s often not enough to explain how a thing works.

All the important factors can get lost in the details, so if you need to really explain the working logic of a concept, the best way to do so is to use analogies.

For example, do you see how naturally an example would fit here? The same is true for any piece of writing.

Don’t forget to use this tip.

Enlist Visual Support

How else can you illustrate the works of a complex subject?

With a visual aid, of course. Many people are visual learners, so they remember better what they see. Still, regardless of your learning type, a single graph can easily explain what 100 words can complicate.

So. it will be a good idea to use some visuals. Of course, not all kinds of writing can be assisted by visual elements. Some are easier, like if you’re writing a script for a video, you know that almost every word can have a visual representation.

But even purely written works will be accessible to a wider public if they have charts, diagrams, or even simple pictures.

Be Understanding

Be ready that most people will have no knowledge in your specific field. You need to be patient and understanding.

Forgetting about that is a common problem with people who are well-versed in some intricate subjects. Of course, the logical thing would be to just put yourself in their shoes and try to think like them.

But knowledge is a tricky thing. It tricks us into thinking everyone has the same understanding of the world and follows the same rules. It’s not true, of course, and filtering out everything you need to explain is a convoluted path.

This is why you need to write, proofread, edit, give the text to someone else to read, listen to their remarks, edit again, and repeat.

This process is the same whether you pay for essay or write it on your own. Just remember that outside perspective can find many little details your eyes would miss.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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