Use familiar language
Prefer plain words to needlessly official, flowery or fancy expressions. Pretentious language can cheapen your writing and make you seem insincere. Deconstruct sentences that sound too bureaucratic and try stating the ideas more simply, without of course sounding disrespectful, insensitive or too slangy.
Use as few words as possible
Try to keep your writing as tight as possible. Ask of each word whether it is useful and necessary for conveying the idea.
Uncomplicate your ideas Avoid complicated ways of saying simple things. Aim to boil down an idea to its simplest form so you can express it in a strong, punchy way. You can always dress it up later if you need to.
Avoid curly sentences
Don’t try to appear smart or sophisticated by twisting sentences so much that they become incomprehensible. A reader should never have to unravel your sentences in order to get them. Where possible, deliver points “head on” so readers can make immediate sense of them.
Many jargon words and buzzwords aren’t specific, and can, therefore, cloud your meaning. Slick writing is usually precise and
meaningful. Impenetrable jargon — as one sees in many resumes, cover letters, blogs, books, reports and press releases — can be tiresome and off-putting to readers. It’s usually better to use expressions that nail down precisely what you mean.
Ambiguity can sap authority from your writing. Identify it by considering, in context, whether anything you say may be taken to mean something different. Improve your chances of spotting ambiguity by reading back your work through the eyes of a first-time reader.
Use punctuation carefully
Pay attention to how you’ve used punctuation in your writing. A simple misplaced comma can change the entire meaning of a sentence. There is a world of difference between, “Did you eat, John?” and “Did you eat John?”
Give sentences rhythm
Repeating the same subject-verb pattern for too long can sound repetitive. Aim to give your writing a musical quality — make it flow gracefully. Your prose doesn’t have to read like poetry, but at least prevent it from sounding clunky.
Give ideas structure
The writing flows well when the ideas are arranged neatly. Identify the main sections in a narrative, then link them up elegantly to create the best flow of ideas from start to finish.
Use stimulating words
A few colourful words here and there can help make a piece of writing come to life. Don’t feed your readers endlessly dry and
technical words. Don’t overdo it, but aim where possible to create stimulating pictures, sensations or emotions for your readers.
Use active sentences
A passive sentence focuses on the thing acted upon, rather than the actor (e.g., “The flag was hoisted by John” instead of “John hoisted the flag”). Sentences written in the passive voice make pictures harder to form — and are thus usually less evocative.