Mandy Collins & Associates

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Five ways to declutter your writing

  1. Remove unnecessary capital letters: You don’t need to use capital letters when talking about your company, its board, the group or even job titles. The company’s managing director isn’t made any more important if you put their title in capital letters, I promise. And managing directors and chief executive officers are common nouns – you wouldn’t capitalise “cleaner” or “receptionist”. It’s the same thing.
  2. Remove filler phrases: if it goes without saying, why are you saying it? At the end of the day … it’s night. Why do you have to specify what you’re going to do “going forward”? Are you likely to be talking about doing things in the past?
  3. Keep your sentences short: one to two verbs per sentence is a good rough guide. If you can’t read your sentence out loud without running out of breath, it’s too long. Learn to love your full stops.
  4. Use strong verbs instead of adjectives and adverbs, and your writing will be more descriptive, but less wordy.
  5. Change passive voice to active voice: you get the double whammy of fewer words and more punch.

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