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We owe it to our readers to use clear and simple writing. There are way too many blogs to read, and the faster our readers get our message, the better! Let’s not make them sift through several layers of words to understand what we are saying.
Keep readers focused on your message by writing short sentences. Shorter sentences tend to have more impact. I suggest that you keep sentence length to between 15-20 words. If your sentence runs on to more than twenty words, split and disconnect sentences. You can do that by looking out for and removing link words like ‘and’ or ‘but’ and creating another sentence.
Before – One long sentence consisting of 52 words
In recent months, there have been a spate of attacks on policemen on night watch on the expectation that they were carrying expensive electronic equipment and hence the policemen have been advised to exercise utmost caution when visiting certain areas in the south of the city including constantly telephoning their fellow officers.
After – Three shorter sentences
In recent months, there have been a spate of attacks on policemen on night watch on the expectation that they were carrying expensive electronic equipment. The policemen have been advised to exercise utmost caution when visiting certain areas in the south of the city. This includes having to constantly telephone their fellow officers.
These three sentences too can be re-written to make them much simpler. Would you like to take a shot? Leave your response in the comments.
This was just one tip. There’s plenty more where that came from. I’ve realized that writing in Plain English is something that not everyone is familiar with. I have done a fair amount of training in this area. So today, I’m starting a short series of posts on simple and clear writing.