Most of us are aware that we begin to learn math by adding together the simplest components: 1 apple + 1 apple = 2 apples. When children struggle to grasp higher mathematical constructs, we remind them of the importance of mastering their math facts. But somehow in our frustrated assumption that good writing is an arbitrary, ill-defined mystery, we have forgotten one important truth: We acquire language in much the same way that we learn math. And when we are struggling to write effectively at levels higher than what our kindergarten teacher once required, there is no shame in revisiting the simple linguistic equations that lead to effective communication. Equation #1: Just as 1 +1 = 2, a subject + a verb = a sentence.