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LinkedIn Learning

Ninja Writing: The Four Levels of Writing Mastery

via LinkedIn Learning


Explore tactics that can dramatically improve your writing. Learn about the power of the four levels—narrative, paragraphs, sentences, and words—to make your writing stand out.

Truly great nonfiction writers do more than just clearly communicate their ideas—they dazzle. These elite professionals have the uncanny ability to craft taut, elegant sentences that flow together in a way that's almost musical. In this course, instructor Shani Raja—a former editor for the Wall Street Journal—shares tactics that can help to take you to the summit of flawless writing. Here, Shani explains how to tap into the power of the four levels—narrative, paragraphs, sentences, and words—to sharpen your writing so that it stands out from your peers. Discover how to craft impactful intros that grab your reader's attention, choose evocative words, and avoid common mistakes. Whether you're tasked with writing a marketing email, an essay, or a cover letter, this course can help you communicate with style.


  • The rocket science of writing
  • The four ninja levels
  • A quick proof
1. The Narrative
  • Find your voice
  • Kickstart a narrative
  • Organize your narrative
  • Killer intros
  • Cool kickers
  • Other types of narrative
  • Embed imagery
  • Ninja writing exercises
  • Bonus ninja tactics: Symmetry
  • Bonus ninja tactics: Extend a narrative
  • Bonus ninja tactics: Get a fresh perspective
2. Paragraphs
  • Why have paragraphs?
  • Different paragraph styles
  • Ninja writing exercises: Paragraphs
  • Bonus ninja tactics: Superthick paragraphs
3. Sentences
  • Recognize a non-sentence
  • Tighten sentences
  • Sharpen sentences
  • Give sentences rhythm
  • Produce poetic sentences
  • Create emphasis
  • Whip up drama
  • Don't give readers whiplash
  • Stick to what's necessary
  • Avoid back referencing
  • Avoid run-on ambiguity
  • Ninja writing exercises: Sentences
  • Bonus ninja tactics: Write for your grandma
  • Bonus ninja tactics: The one breath readback
4. Words
  • Choose precise words
  • Avoid technical, abstract words
  • Choose colorful words
  • Notice implied words
  • Avoid pointless distinctions
  • Degrees of orderliness
  • Create more special effects
  • The power of reminder words
  • Words that sound good together
  • Numbers into words, titles into descriptions
  • Don't overemphasize
  • Slice syllables
  • Ninja writing exercises: Words
  • Bonus ninja tactics: How to boost your vocabulary
  • Bonus ninja tactics: Obsolete hyphens
  • Summary

Taught by

Shani Raja

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