Well-written as one word with a hyphen is a compound adjective that appears directly before a noun. E.g., “Behind Her Eyes was a well-written story.” Furthermore, well written as two words with no hyphen is also a correct spelling version. E.g., “It was well written.”
The two spelling versions of well-written are correct, but the grammar rules state that the hyphenated version always comes directly before the noun it describes. This rule also applies when you are writing a text in AP Style.
The following example shows when to use the hyphenated version, i.e., where the word articles comes after the term well-written.
- The Guardian newspaper contains well-written articles.
The non-hyphenated version can describe the same thing; however, the word order differs, and in this example, the word articles comes first.
- The articles in the Guardian newspaper are well written.
Using the correct version of hyphenated words can be tricky. Therefore, you should carry on reading to learn more about using each version of the term well-written.
The term well written as two words without a hyphen is correct, and you can use it when the thing it describes comes first in the sentence.
- The email was not well written and was full of mistakes.
However, when the thing that the term well written describes comes after the term, you must use a hyphen.
- He sent me a well-written letter stating that he was resigning.
The hyphenated term well-written is a compound word that directly modifies a noun. This version of well-written always comes directly before the thing it modifies.
- She has a very well-written resume.
Likewise, when the thing you mention comes before the term well-written, you should remove the hyphen.
- Her resume is very well written.
Wellwritten as one word with no hyphen is incorrect, and you should avoid using it.
Furthermore, Google Ngram reveals that wellwritten appeared sparsely during the 1800s and early 1900s, but it is not recognized as a correct spelling version in modern English.
There are two correct ways you can write the term wellwritten, as shown in the examples below.
First, with the noun before the two-word term well written.
- Correct: The song was well written but badly sung.
- Incorrect: The song was wellwritten but badly sung.
And second, with the noun directly after the compound term well-written.
- Correct: She produced a well-written piece of work.
- Incorrect: She produced a wellwritten piece of work.