Effective Written Communication

The following are FIVE tips to help you write more effectively:

  1. Keep your audience in mind while you are writing. Avoid lengthy preambles. Don't spend ages setting the scene or explaining the background, etc.
  2. If you are selling, promoting, proposing something you must identify the main issue (if selling, the strongest unique perceived benefit) and make that the sole focus. Introducing other points distracts and confuses the reader.
  3. Use language that your reader uses. If you want clues as to what this might be imagine the newspaper they read, and limit your vocabulary to that found in the newspaper.
  4. Avoid obvious grammatical errors, especially inserting single apostrophes where incorrect, which irritates many people and which is seen by some to indicate a poor education.
  5. Use short sentences. More than fifteen words in a sentence reduce the clarity of the meaning. After drafting your communication, seek out commas and 'and's, and replace with full-stops. Avoid jargon, acronyms, technical terms unless essential.

Remember that effective written communication is enabling the reader to understand your meaning in as few words as possible. 

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