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Tips on how to Communicate Complex Concepts in a Simple Way

September 16, 2020| Category: Writing Tips

Writing is a pleasant process of conveying various pieces of information to the wider audience. However, it might be not that easy to reach the desired goal if you need to explain a rather complicated issue. The main thing is not to sound smart and prove you are an expert in this or that field but to involve the readers in your article by making your writing compelling and engaging.

If you have come to a dead end, these 8 techniques will help you to transform a difficult subject into an engaging story.

Tell readers why the subject matter is of value to them. To reach this aim, you can use a top-down “Sandwich Approach”, meaning provide the audience with the conclusion first. In such a way, they will be interested to know how you reached it and will be eager to learn the explanations and ideas supporting your takeaway.

Use information they already know. This technique is one of the best when you need to explain complex concepts since it is not that hard to find related information. For example, when you need to write about artificial intelligence, you might say that “it is the ability of machines to think and act like human beings” or say that “it is a set of algorithms installed in machines, enabling them to adjust to new inputs that require discernment”. The first variant will help readers understand the basic idea much easier. It is, thus, pivotal to find common ground with readers and draw analogies with simple concepts to get the message across.

Do not use complex words and jargon. It does not mean that you should totally avoid any jargon; in some fields, it is rather useful. If the explanation of terms serves the whole purpose of your article, it will be impossible and unreasonable to avoid them. However, it is not a good idea to use complex words and jargon to sound smart, as it might make the writing boring.

Avoid too long or complex sentences/paragraphs. Keep sentences simple to foster the readers’ understanding. Too long sentences or paragraphs might lead to the loss of connection in the readers’ perception between different ideas your sentences discuss. It is too exhausting to stay focused all the time. So, if the reader distracts for a minute, this should not lead them to the failure to comprehend the idea of the whole article.

Stay focused. Clearly explain one and only idea. It is good to use analogies, but it is crucial not to overuse them. If you continue showing connection between different and, most importantly, not interrelated concepts, the readers might forget what your article is actually about.

Ask a friend who is not expert in the field to read your article. This practice will clearly show your paper’s strong and weak points. If some explanations are not clear enough to the friend, it means you should think of other ways to interpret the concept.

Leave too complicated details out. When you have a clear understanding of some concept, it might seem that every detail is important. However, if you want to explain that issue to another person, it is vital to understand which details you can leave out. Therefore, strange professional terminology or specific processes are rarely of great meaning.

Read and reference fellow experts. It is reasonable to read and cite ideas from papers on the same or similar topic. If a person who published their article is popular, it is what we call luck. Quotes of respectful experts will provoke strong reactions and spur the readers’ insight into the subject matter.