Friday, July 27, 2007
Six tips on better writing In the 1946 book, Shooting an Elephant and Other Essays, author George Orwell devised 6 easy tips to make anyone a better writer.
To paraphrase him, they are:
Never use the passive voice when you can use the active voice
Shorter is better in sentences and paragraphs. If it is possible to remove a word from a sentence, cut it.
Shorter is better in word choice. Never use a long word when a short word will do.
Do not confuse your reader with uncommon words. Never use foreign phrases, scientific jargon or high-tech "buzzwords" if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
Never use cliché metaphors, similes or other figures of speech that you are used to seeing in print. Be original.
Be polite — even when you disagree. Break any of the above rules before you write anything offensive or outrageous.
Avoid personal attacks, do not exaggerate the situation, and do not use sarcasm or hyperbole. Otherwise, you risk losing credibility in the eye of the reader.