15 Quick Tips for Improving Your Writing

This article presents 15 tips for improving your writing, as summarized in 2 short videos.

James Manktelow and Amy Carlson provide 9 important tips in the following 4‑minute video.

Manktelow and Carlson advocate:

  1. Know your audience.  Adjust the tone and content to them.
  2. Determine where to start by asking what your readers need to know first.
  3. Identify your theme, which is your central point.
  4. Create an outline for longer documents.
  5. Use simple words and short sentences.
  6. Structure your message by using headings and bullet points.
  7. Check for errors.  Edit to ensure proper word use, grammar, and punctuation.
  8. Proof effectively by reading out loud to check for flow.
  9. When proofing, make multiple passes through your document.

A newer video by MindTools stresses the same points: https://youtu.be/vm4h2toMlx0

In the following 10‑minute video, Steven Van Hook supplies 6 more tips to good writing:

Van Hook says:

  1. Use resonant characters.  In your writing, resonant characters will be persons (real or imagined) with whom your readers readily relate.  In business writing, resonant characters generally will be business owners, business executives, managers, workers, or clients.
  2. Use action verbs, which are verbs that describe real activity.
  3. Keep nouns and verbs close together.
  4. Link phrases and sentences with connecting words and phrases.  Use words such as because, therefore, before, after, consequently, correspondingly, etc.
  5. Progress from what is known (old information) to what is to be learned (new information).
  6. Structure documents using the problem-solution-action framework.  First, discuss a problem.  Next, discuss possible solutions.  And last, lay out an action plan.

Van Hook’s tips come from the University of Chicago Writing Program.

Conclusion

From my experience, these techniques will solve most writing problems. 

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