Quick Tips to Im­prove Your Writ­ing

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Whether you are com­pos­ing a blog or a busi­ness let­ter, an email or an es­say, your goal should be to re­spond clearly and di­rectly to the needs and in­ter­ests of your read­ers. The tips here should help you sharpen your writ­ing when­ever you set out to in­form or per­suade.

As a gen­eral rule, state the main idea of a para­graph in the first sen­tence - the topic sen­tence. Don’t keep your read­ers guess­ing.

In gen­eral, use short sen­tences to em­pha­size ideas. Use longer sen­tences to ex­plain, de­fine, or il­lus­trate ideas.

tence.

When re­vis­ing your work, elim­i­nate un­nec­es­sary words.

- Don’t bury a main point in the mid­dle of a long sen­tence. To em­pha­size key words, place them at the be­gin­ning or (bet­ter yet) at the end.

Vary sen­tence types by in­clud­ing oc­ca­sional ques­tions and com­mands. Vary sen­tence struc­tures by blend­ing sim­ple, com­pound and com­plex sen­tences.

Don’t over­work the pas­sive voice or forms of the verb “to be.” In­stead, use dy­namic verbs in the ac­tive voice.

To con­vey your mes­sage clearly and keep your read­ers en­gaged, use con­crete and spe­cific words that show what you mean.

When re­vis­ing, you may hear prob­lems (of tone, em­pha­sis, word choice, and syn­tax) that you can’t see. So lis­ten up.

It’s easy to over­look er­rors when merely look­ing over your work. So be on the look­out for com­mon trou­ble spots when study­ing your fi­nal draft.

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