10 Ways to Communicate Better in Your Writing

  1. Use simpler words. Don’t try to impress me with your vocabulary. I love words as much as you do, but we are going for clarity here.
  2. Write shorter sentences. It is not good when you have to read a sentence three times to understand it.
  3. Make your paragraphs shorter. Your college final exam answers may have been graded on quantity as well as a quality. But long paragraphs can look bloated and may be intimidating to the reader.
  4. Be careful with humor. I can be funny. I can be sarcastic. But on the page, without my vocal inflection and my grin, my attempts at humor can easily be misinterpreted.
  5. Edit. The higher-ups reading your monthly report may be obliged to read fifty more in a short period of time. If you can tell everything that needs to be told, but can do it with fewer words, your brevity will be appreciated.
  6. Reread what you just wrote. Then read it again in a few minutes. Delete unnecessary words.
  7. Realize that your work may be shared with others. Slang, profanity and sloppy punctuation may be okay for the main recipient(s), but not so cool for those to whom your writing is forwarded. Such writing can cause your content to be misconstrued.
  8. When you use the word “that,” be sure that it is absolutely necessary.
  9. Use an appropriate font.
  10. When time permits, ask someone to read what you have written and tell you what she/he does not understand. Then fix it.

 

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One thought on “10 Ways to Communicate Better in Your Writing

  1. […] Want “more?” Read my January 25, 2012 post “10 Ways To Communicate Better In Your Writing.” […]

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