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Chapter 13. Striving for Simplicity > The Benefits of Short, Simple Sentences

The Benefits of Short, Simple Sentences

Short sentences are easier to write, read, and understand. Long sentences, always more difficult to read, are particularly hard to read on-screen.

Long sentences test the writer’s ability to use grammar and punctuation correctly. A hurried e-mail reader is more likely to delete a confusing, error-filled message than take time to plow through the writer’s mechanical errors and decipher the document’s meaning.

Long sentences tend to bury ideas. Remember the inverted pyramid. Put short sentences and paragraphs to work, communicating your primary message clearly, right from the beginning of the document.

Limit most sentences to one major idea.

For more information on writing clearly and concisely, read Fat-Free Writing by Carol Andrus, Crisp Publications.


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