Writing Tips for Everyone

We’ve talked about the importance of using plain language before.

If you want your texts to be easy to understand, here are some tips to help you:

  1. Know who you’re writing for. Understand who will read your writing before you start. The more you know about your readers, the better you can write for them. Think about what your readers already know, what they want to know, and how they talk. Then, write for them.

  2. Use words your readers know. Choose words that your readers understand. Don’t use complicated words or slang that might confuse them. Pick words that your readers use in everyday life.

  3. Keep sentences and paragraphs short. Short sentences are easier to understand. Use fewer words to say the same thing. Long sentences can be hard to follow. Use paragraphs to organize your ideas. Each paragraph should talk about one idea.

  4. Aim for a 6-8th grade reading level for general audiences. For most people, writing that’s easy to understand is best. But if you’re writing for experts, you can use a higher reading level (10-12th grade)l. Make sure your writing is not too hard or too easy for your readers.

  5. Format your writing well. Make your writing look good on the page. Use headings and subheadings to show what each part is about. Use bullet points and tables to make complex ideas simpler. Leave space between lines and use indentation. Highlight important words and phrases. Use the “inverted pyramid” style, where the most important information comes first. For longer articles, include a summary at the beginning.

When you follow these tips, your writing will be clearer and easier for everyone to understand.

Good luck! laughing

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