Clarity, Lack of Clarity, and Exploring Semantic Possibilities

Regarding the issue of clarity, it is always important to keep in mind the fact that IF YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND your own question/statement/sentence/proclamation/idea, YOUR READER WILL NOT UNDERSTAND your question/statement/sentence/proclamation/idea.  In fact, even if you DO UNDERSTAND what you are writing, there is some chance that your reader will not.  However, there is a 100% chance that your reader will not understand, or be able to make sense of, something that you do not understand.  As students venture into more specialized types of writing, they will sometimes find themselves hoping that a statement or expression will make sense to someone who more fully understands the technical vocabulary being used.  Unfortunately, this is not usually the case.  Instead, when a writer is using terminology that he or she is unfamiliar with, the writer needs to be even more cautious in his/her use of this vocabulary. 

Regarding not understanding sentences, or not making sense, there is, of course, a lot to say about this topic.  Because sometimes a writer does not yet know what he/she wants to say and is in some sense thinking in a sentence while he/she is writing.  A lot of interesting writing can come out of how a writer reads, interprets, and expands on sentences that do not immediately make sense.  A great deal of invention in writing comes from this and out of this process.  There is great possibility in incomplete/oddly written/half-formed sentences.  Don't simply remove these.  Explore them.  If anything, for each sentence that does not make sense, write four sentences.  What are the possible ideas from this sentence?  How could this sentence be interpreted?  What are you really trying to say?  (There very well may be multiple answers to that question.)  You may not know what thing(s) you are trying to say until you explore the semantic possibilities.