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How to Write Better: 10 Ridiculously Simple Tips

by Karen Palmer on April 2017

How to write betterDo you worry whether your writing is good enough?

You are not alone. Every student has doubts about expressing his or her thoughts.

Inexperienced writers think that good writing is complicated and causes a lot of anxiety and stress. But, in fact, it is simple. With just a little attention and care, you can start writing better without too much trouble.

The following simple tips will help you improve your writing and make it more engaging and persuasive.

1. Be Clear and Specific

The best writing tends to have one clear intention, so choose it and commit. Think about the desired outcome that you want with this piece of writing and create a roadmap for yourself to get clear. Write to the point and convey your message precisely.

2. Choose Simple Words

Write help instead of assistance, use instead of utilize, near instead of close proximity, do instead of implement, enough instead of sufficient. Always think whether you may replace longer words with simpler options and use them only if they present more specific meaning.

3. Include Details

Specific details will make your writing more engaging because they make stories vivid in a reader’s head. So, the next time you write, consider if you can give any concrete examples to emphasize your message.

4. Use the Active Voice

Try to use the active voice in your writing. In fact, there is nothing wrong with passive structures but they tend to be wordy and may confuse the readers. Active constructions are simpler and easier to understand, so use them to grab people’s attention.

5. Limit Weak Adjectives

To create vivid descriptions the readers love so much, you need to use the adjectives. However, you should avoid the weak ones as they don’t stand out. Here are some strong alternatives for the weak adjectives: big – enormous, scary – terrifying, small – tiny, cute – adorable. Also try to avoid fluff words, such as rather and very.

6. Vary the Sentence Length

It is always better to use the short sentences. However, if you pack your writing only with short sentences, then it may become choppy. The best choice is to vary the length of the sentences to create a rhythm for your narrative.

7. Keep Paragraphs Short

Our brains take in the information better when it is divided into small chunks. That’s why keep the paragraphs short to make the reading easier. Don’t overwhelm your paragraphs with plenty of information, try to start a new passage when you’re going to present the next idea.

8. Avoid Clichés

If you make an effort to avoid clichés, your writing will become more compelling. Come up with your own vivid metaphors to develop a unique voice.

9. Don’t Repeat Yourself

Don’t keep writing the same over and over again. If you start repeating yourself or keep presenting the same ideas, your reader will get bored.

10. Say It Out Load

Whenever possible, read your writing out loud. It will help you catch the typos and mistakes and notice the excessively long sentences. If reading aloud is impossible, silently read the text in your head. It works almost as well as reading out load.