Quick guide to write Clear, Simple and Correct English

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Quick guide to write clear, simple and correct EnglishWriting in a clear and simple manner in reality has been anything but clear and simple. As a matter of fact writing simple and correct English is the most daunting task for a college student. To write simple, clear and correct English requires a level of proficiency and command of the language which is the aspiration of almost anyone but as far as achieving that level only very few can. Although as far as web content is concerned the content reaches out to the masses when written in layman’s terms. Writing that lacks clarity or is confusing for any reader would not score well in terms of the content having a mass appeal. Those suffering from reading disorder in particular would find it difficult to comprehend the content.
To make matters even worse, there isn’t a general rule of clear, simple and correct writing that applies to all languages or among cultures speaking a common language. Most countries value direct and explicit written communication in their national language, English. Non-English speaking countries with varied cultures believe that the approach is a little too insensitive and the likelihood of readers feeling insulted is high.
It’s not that level of literacy is same for everyone and therefore is able to comprehend content presented in text format however clear and simple the content may be. Reading disorders, memory disorders, attention deficit disorders, and other related ailments affecting the cognitive processes of the brain could all be hindrance as a person’s ability to benefit from text is compromised.
1. General Guidelines.
Ideas should be organized logically prior to and when the writing processes commence. This is probably the most crucial guideline of all. To be able to think clearly about a topic would result in the idea being communicated clearly as well. Getting organized is an ongoing process which starts prior to writing any words and continues until the process reaches its logical conclusion. A paper could be reorganized as and when its written. It may seem that the paper is finished but that is actually an opportunity for analysis of the paper yet again to ensure that the entire organization is logical and meaningful.
2. Let the readers know what is being conveyed.
Let the readers know repeatedly what the writer intends to convey. Beginning with an introduction or an overview of the main ideas of the paper followed by an explanation of the ideas on the main body of the paper and last but not the least a summary of the main points.
3. The main point Identified now all that is needed is sticking to it.
Frequent deviation from the main point could lead to people forgetting what the main point is.
4. Make it interesting.
5. Write for target audience.
Style of writing should be in compliance with the intended audience. A write-up whose intended audience is little kids in first grade for example would be written in a style that is meant for kids in first grade. For post-graduate students for example the style of writing obviously would be different. The expertise of people with education or intelligence alike should be considered. Differences in culture and gender could play a pivotal role in selecting a target audience. While writing, the characteristics of audiences should be kept in mind which is the style that a writer should adopt.
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6. Assumption is that the readers are intelligent, but there is no reason to assume that they are conversant with the subject matter as well.
Readers may be intelligent but they aren’t as intelligent as the writer. What and how much needs to be explained is dependent on the familiarity of the audience with the topic. If concepts are explained lucidly it’s not intimidating. On the contrary its helpful in so far as the explanations are respectful of the reader. Some people may need to be explained in greater detail due to some sort of disability. While writing for general audiences though, the assumption is that the audiences would have a very basic level of intelligence.
7. Paragraphs should be constructed and cohesively written based on a single main idea.
Paragraphs with ideas should relate to the main point. If feasible the main points of the paragraph should be in the first sentence.
8. Ignore slang and jargon.
Not everybody can comprehend slang and jargon. Therefore those who can comprehend, it’s useful for them but those who can’t, slang and jargon isn’t useful.
9. Use words that are known and combine words.
Writers should aim at communicating with their readers, without having to create an impression on their readers with the use of words that are considered to be out of the ordinary and bombastic.
10. Active voice should be used.
Passive voice has a weakening effect on a sentence’s action by keeping it at a distance from the very subjects because of which the action is executed. Through active voice the subjects are directly linked to the action.
11. Ignore weak verbs.
12. Use parallel sentence construction.
Internally there ought to be consistency in sentence construction.
13. Give instructions directly.
Writers directly instructing readers would help readers comprehend more and the reader is responsible more.
14. Ignore multiple negatives.
Double negatives, or multiple negatives for most readers is a little awkward, which could lead to confusion, or at least to slower comprehension.
15. If acronyms and abbreviations are used; they need to be explained.
Acronyms and abbreviations don’t mean anything to readers. Meanings can be learnt by expanding acronyms and abbreviations. The first time, or the first few times an acronym or abbreviation is used. This is especially true.
16. Check the spelling.
An automated spell checker can be used, but the document should be proof-read as well for words that are spelled correctly but used incorrectly.
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17. Write short sentences.
Readers tend to lose the main point of long, run-on sentences. Help readers stay focused by creating shorter sentences.
19. Ensure that every word and paragraph is necessary.
20. When you're done, stop.
What needs to be said should only be said.
 

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