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Chapter 6. Getting it Right > Tip 30 Simplify and Clarify Your Document

Tip 30 Simplify and Clarify Your Document

To revise for simplicity and clarity, develop the attitude that the right words are the simplest words that work. Here are a few other attitudes or ways of thinking that will help you revise:

  • Eliminate nonessential ideas. Distinguish what readers need to know from what would be nice to know.

  • Write to express, not impress. The purpose of business writing should not be to show off, but to inform. Pompous writing often alienates busy readers.

  • Write as if your readers were 12 years old. If this sounds like odd advice, consider this quote from Albert Einstein: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

  • Think proverbial. Proverbs are memorable because they are short and vivid. To make your writing memorable, plan to write simple, vivid, memorable sentences rather than long, abstract dissertations. Some Techniques That Will Help You Revise


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