Your Checklist for Better Voice

A strong voice is critical to communicating ideas, influencing people and winning over audiences. Use this checklist as a guide for revision.

A strong voice emerges when the writer:

Cares about the topic.

Why did you pick your topic?
Why is it important to you?
Where in your writing will your readers be able to see how much you care about it?

Conveys strong feelings and honest statements.

What are your strongest feelings in this piece?
Where do you express those feelings?
Are you really being honest?
Where does your honesty come through?

Feels individual, authentic and original.

Does the writing sound like you?
Are you being yourself?
What parts of the piece sound like only you could have written them?

Displays a definite and well-developed personality.

What parts of your personality come through in this piece?
Where do those parts show up?
What will readers think they know about who you are?

Is appropriate for the piece’s purpose and audience.

Are you addressing your readers in a way that will make them feel honored and respected?
Is it possible that anything you’ve written could offend your readers or otherwise discourage them from reading?