Do

Be concise

When writing:

  • try to limit each paragraph to 1 or 2 short sentences
  • be clear
  • avoid complicated sentence structures
  • stick to 1 idea or theme per paragraph
  • break up large blocks of text with subheadings

Be consistent

Be consistent in the way you write in terms of:

  • the style
  • the tone
  • the level of language
  • the terminology used and its explanation.

Keep it short and simple (KISS)

KISS stands for ‘keep it short and simple’. This is the principle that information is more easily understood if language is kept simple.

Don’t use 2 words where 1 plain word will do, and always choose the shortest appropriate words or phrases:

  • don’t try to cram in too much information
  • stick to 1 main idea or statement per sentence, with no more than 1 or 2 supporting clauses
  • cut out unnecessary words; it makes the important facts more memorable
  • don’t start 2 consecutive sentences with ‘The’, if you can avoid doing so

Avoid phrases such as ‘in the event of’, ‘by virtue of the fact that’, ‘the question as to whether’ and ‘if the possibility exists’. Instead, use ‘if’, ‘because’, ‘whether’ and ‘if possible’.

Use the active voice

Always use the active voice, not the passive.

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