• Be accurate

Nothing else matters if your facts aren’t correct. 

  • Target your message

Keep your audience in mind when writing. Ask yourself if the text was written for the reader or the writer. If it’s not written for the reader, then rewrite. Avoid jargon in your text. 

  • Use quotes and testimonials where appropriate

Quotes give your text personality and flavor. Testimonials help your reader identify with the subject and lend credibility to what you’re saying. 

  • Be specific, definite, and concrete

Explicit writing holds the attention of your readers. Avoid abstractions and don’t be afraid to use numbers. Being concrete doesn’t always mean short, examples can be very effective. 

  • Use the active voice

The active voice is more direct and vigorous than the passive voice. A sentence is in active voice if the subject of the sentence acts; it is in passive voice if the subject is acted upon.

    • passive voice - The jet is operated skillfully by the pilot.
    • active voice - The pilot operates the jet skillfully.
  • Write short paragraphs and sentences that are clear and concise

Try not to exceed eight printed lines for a paragraph. Keep one idea to a sentence. Use simple words, be concise, and above all, when in doubt, cut it out. If a sentence is giving you trouble, try deleting it. Your paragraph may be stronger for the surgery. 

  • Write the way you speak

If you can say it simply, write it that way.   

  • Proofread your copy

Proofread your copy for punctuation, grammar, spelling, and style. When you are done, have another person review your copy.  

  • Rewrite

Revising is part of writing. Don’t expect your first draft to be your final version.