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Changing your habits isn’t easy, when you don’t understand why you’re doing it wrong and how you can do it right.
And it doesn’t matter if a doctor tells you to eat well and exercise or a publisher tells you to write better. The question is: How? Let’s figure this out!
1. Shorten your text.
It matters because: Today people don’t like and don’t want to read long posts, emails or documents. They’re just too impatient to do this.
You can fix it: Simply reread and edit your text. Don’t add much information to it. Instead, exclude everything that can be deleted from the text – all unnecessary details and repetitions. Believe me, if you make your document shorter, it will certainly be more powerful.
2. Shorten your sentences.
It matters because: Too long sentences make it difficult to grasp their meaning.
You can fix it: Break the long sentences into several parts and delete the parts you actually don’t need.
3. Eliminate passive voice.
It matters because: Sentences with passive voice sound uneasy and conceal the one who acts.
You can fix it: Determine the doer in the sentence and try making it a subject.
4. Remove weasel words.
It matters because: Such words as “most” and “generally” make your writing weaker.
You can fix it: Just remove these words and reread the sentence. If it’s too bold for you, try to rewrite it in a way to make it less bold, but still strong.
5. Remove jargon.
It matters because: Not everyone understands jargon words.
You can fix it: While writing, imagine you’re talking with someone who’s not an expert in your subject. Use plain words. If you want to use certain terms, don’t forget to define them.
6. Cite statistics effectively.
It matters because: You think that using statistics proves your point. But you’re right only if you use them properly.
You can fix it: Include a context when you cite statistics and be sure to add the source.
7. Use “I,” “you” or “we”
It matters because: It assists in creating a relationship between the reader and the writer.
You can fix it: Imagine that you’re talking to your reader and the pronouns will come naturally.
8. Give key info first.
It matters because: The first sentences have to be strong enough to grab the reader’s attention.
You are able to fix it: Start with a simple bold statement. If you cannot do this, begin with a warm-up and then delete it as soon as you finish editing your text.
9. Cite examples.
It matters because: It adds credibility and life to your text.
You can fix it: Find the relevant examples to prove your statements.
10. Include signposts.
It matters because: It improves the structure of your text.
You can fix it: Add bullet points and lists whenever possible. It’ll help the reader follow you better.