writing lessons 1

September 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

I have always loved to write. I used to write fairytales and poems and hated writing scientific things because most scientific writing is boring. But it doesn’t have to be. I am of the opinion that professionals – and by that I mean businessmen, academics, lawyers, politicians, and stay-at-home parents – can and should write better. And better is best operationalized as clear, concise, and direct. Imagine how the world would change if biologists and psychologists and Senators wrote in this way. People might actually read their work.

Actions

  1. Make your subjects preform your verbs.
  2. Make your verbs actions.

Here’s an example from Style, Lessons in Clarity and Grace by J.M. Williams and G.G. Colomb.

1a. The cause of our schools’ failures at teaching basic skills is not understanding the influence of cultural background on learning.

1b. Our schools have failed to teach basic skills because they do not understand how cultural background influences the way a child learns.

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