I didn’t have time to write today, as I got backed up with some projects that all arrived at the same time, along with a meeting with a client to discuss a new project.
However, I wanted to share a great article called “20 questions toward achieving civic clarity in your writing” by Roy Peter Clark. I picked out four key questions that I ask when trying to make my writing clearer to the reader.
- Have I used shorter words, sentences and paragraphs at the points of greatest complexity?
- Where is the jargon, the technical language that came with the experts? What jargon terms can be avoided?
- Can I say with certainty that I have found my focus — the one key piece of knowledge I want to impart?
- Is my story so clear that a reader could pass along the most important information to another person?
These questions tie nicely into a blog post I wrote on writing clear copy, which lays out ten key ways to do so:
- Put the reader first.
- Organize your selling points.
- Break content into shorter sections.
- Use short sentences.
- Use simple words.
- Be concise.
- Be specific.
- Get to the point.
- Write in a friendly, conversational style.
- Avoid sexist language.