Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Writing style

An easy-to-read prose style is the first thing you need to get people to read your posts. Here are a few pointers:
  • Say what you mean
  • Use an appropriate tone
  • Call a spade a spade – don’t say ‘utilise’ when you mean ‘use’
  • Vary your sentence length – too many short sentences is ‘choppy’; too many long sentences is boring.
  • Avoid passive voice, e.g. ‘the business was lost by the inability of the sales team to convince the buyer of the uniqueness of their product’ (replace with ‘the sales team lost the business because they couldn’t convince the buyer that their product was unique’)
  • Avoid clich├ęs and stock phrases, e.g. France bit off more than it could chew in Vietnam, and America’s intervention was too little, too late.
  • Avoid too many qualifiers, e.g. Most people usually think that many puppies are generally pretty cute.
  • Avoid too many prepositional phrases, e.g. “the organisational culture of [your organisation]” could be replaced with “the way [your organisation] is organised”.
  • Avoid too many exclamation marks! They’re ever so annoying! Especially when you use too many of them! See what I mean?!?

Further reading