Archive for Writing

Often forgotten tips for better writing

Rich Chiesser describes Eight uncommon tips to improve your writing.

He describe these tips as uncommon not because they are rare or unique, but because they are so infrequently used that when he sees them employed it is a refreshing and rather uncommon occurrence.

The eight tips are:

  1. Match Style to Intent
  2. Outlining
  3. Story Boarding
  4. Match Tone and Detail to Audience
  5. Echo Some Words and Phrases
  6. Active Voice
  7. Grammar
  8. Proof Reading

Indeed, these are very commonsense tips, I added some detail from my own experience and from an internal memo I received some fifteen years ago:

  1. Match Style to Intent
    1.1 For what purpose is the text written?
    1.2 For whom is the text written?
    1.3 To what questions gives the text answers?
    1.4 What are the results, recommendations, conclusions?
    1.5 Why is the text written?
    1.6 What was the assignment?
    1.7 Why is the text written in this way and this order?
  2. Outlining
    2.1 Is the division into chapters clear?
    2.2 Is there a logical sequence in the chapters?
    2.3 Is the subdivision in paragraphs clear?
    2.4 Is there a logical sequence in the paragraphs?
  3. Story Boarding
    3.1 Are the relations between chapters and paragraphs clear?
    3.2 What is meant by the title?
  4. Match Tone and Detail to Audience
    4.1 Do you connect at the foreknowledge of the reader?
    4.2 Is the text suitable for the reader?
    4.3 Is the amount of explanation sufficient?
    4.4 Do you give precisely enough details, or too much or too little?
    4.5 What is the importance of the text to the reader?
  5. Echo Some Words and Phrases
    5.1 Restate the assignment, to emphasize you are really doing what is asked for. 
  6. Active Voice
  7. Grammar
  8. Proof Reading
    8.1 Is the text free of contradictions?
    8.2 Are the conclusions based on facts?
    8.3 Are the arguements for and against the recommendations given?
    8.4 Why are some subjects mentioned, and others not?

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