Topic 8: Writing in Plain English, Part 1

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Words of Wisdom on Wordiness


It’s much harder to write concisely than verbosely. – You will communicate more clearly if you keep sentences short. Aim for an average sentence length of 20 words, with no single sentence running over 40 words. Cover only one subject in each paragraph and keep paragraphs under 10 or 12 lines.

Write short paragraphs and sections. – Short paragraphs and sections break up the material into easily understood segments. They are also easier to read and understand.

Use the simplest words possible to get the job done. – Excess or elaborate words make your writing weaker. Insitutional writing is often too wordy.