Effective Writing Tips

Posted on November 15, 2007 | Filed in Career, MBA

Whether you are writing an admissions essay or drafting a report for work, these helpful tips are sure to create polished works:

Simple, Direct, Precise, Alive, Concise, Coherent, Convincing! Those are your targets.
  1. Reduce Sentence Length to establish strong, clear meaning.
  2. Order Words for Emphasis.
    • Put strong words at the beginning and at the end of a sentence.
    • Space out key words. Do NOT repeat a distinctive word unless you intend a specific effect.
    • Put odd and interesting things next to each other. Help the reader learn from contrast.
    • Do not be afraid of using small words. Big words are not always the best or most useful for getting your points across to the reader.
  3. Avoid Needless Words or Stuffy Language.
    • No excess prepositional phrases
    • Use words in replace of phrases
    • No redundancy; minimize repetition
    • Watch for unnecessary adverbs such as very, really, quickly
    • No vague qualifiers, e.g. some, kind; avoid “it is”, “whether or not”…
  4. Use Strong Verbs. Use passive verbs to highlight the receiver of an action.
  5. Emphasize Results, Concrete Figures. Use concrete and specific details that appeal to the senses.
  6. Establish Impressive Overall Style.
    • Form a pattern in your writing, but then give it a wrist to add variety.
    • Vary sentence length to set a compelling pace for the reader.
Summary:
  • Convey clear, complete thoughts.
    • Do not couch too many ideas in one sentence.
  • Choose every word carefully.
    • Make sure they are precise and most appropriate for the context.
  • Minimize redundancy. Strive for effectiveness.
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