A major flaw in writing is that the message is not focused on one idea. A writer has an abundance of information but does not consider what he or she wants to accomplish and does not ask important questions about the audience.

High-quality writing takes time. When people are in too much of a hurry, they throw a lot of facts, statistics, observations, and recommendations on the screen, and as long as the grammar and punctuation are correct, they hit the “send” button. Just because “it’s all there somewhere” and is grammatically correct does not mean that the message has one clear meaning, that it is compelling, or that it is persuasive.

Sort through your information, determine the one core idea you want to convey (you also might to include several thoughts related to that idea, and that’s fine). Know the point you want to communicate or the position you want to advocate, and know what your audience wants to know and what it doesn’t want to hear. Jot down the key topics you think you want to cover, even if there are only three or four, and make sure that anything you include relates to your core message.

A major problem with many messages is that the core idea gets lost in surplus information that is either unnecessary or is only marginally related.