How to write in a clear and powerful way

How to write in a clear and powerful way

By avatarAjdPe |
expert in Nutrition

  

The skill to write clearly and simply will help you in many situations: at work, in communication with friends and families, and it will even make you think better. While it is very much an art, there are certain scientific principles that you can follow to improve your writing. So read on as we present you with pieces of advice that you won’t want to miss. 

Adverbs and glue words

Adverbs help us to emphasize the certain aspect of a verb, and there’s nothing wrong with using it from time to time. But a strong verb is always a better option. For example, consider the following example: 

Weak verb: James ran to school. 

Weak verb + adverb: James ran quickly to school. 

Strong verb: James sprinted to school. 

As you can see, strong verb adds intensity to the sentence. 

Next thing to look at are so-called glue words. These are simply useless words that you fill space till you write your real idea. Words such as that, will, get, some, should, just, from, and many others should be used as little as possible. Go straight for the verbs and nouns to write what you want. 

How to use verbs

Verbs are the heart and soul of your writing. They make the action exciting and thrill the reader. Don’t hide them, or turn them into nouns. Instead of writing “undertook an analysis”, write “analyzed”. Don’t use “held a discussion” as a way to say “discussed”. 

Use active voice, and not passive. For example, instead of writing “The game was watched by John”, write “John watched the game”. 

Sentence lengths and overused words

Writing a text is like composing a song. You need long and short intervals, a variety of tones, and solid composition. That’s why your sentence length should vary. Some sentences need to be long and flowing, while others short and strong. 

On the other hand, don’t use overused words as you want to be original and crispy instead. Some of the overused words that actually mean nothing are: there, have, maybe, just, really, notice, great, used, made etc. 

Redundancies and repetitive words

As you write, every word needs to be used for a reason. But redundant expressions make writing longer, and the author as silly. Look at the following examples. 

-She peered through the HOLLOW TUBE. 

-He stepped out on the FROZEN ICE. 

It is obvious that the tube is hollow, and that the ice is frozen. So why use those redundant words?

At the same time, make sure you don’t repeat yourself. Using the same word several times in the span of one paragraph will make your reader uncomfortable. Instead of focusing on the article, the reader will think “didn’t I just saw the same word 10 seconds ago?”. 

Transitions and deadwood

As the reader progress through your article, there need to be a lot of signs to help navigate your arguments and ideas. The end of one paragraph, and the beginning of the next one should be well-connected parts. Also, you can use transition words such as “nevertheless”, “likewise”, “as a result”, and many others to smooth the transition. 

Obviously, we think that less is more when it comes to writing. That means you shouldn’t use deadwood phrases: wordy ways of expressing simple ideas. So instead of writing “at this point in time” write “now”; or instead of writing “in order to”, simply write “to”. 

We hope that these pieces of advice will help you write better. The important part of learning is also reading. So make sure you read authors whose writing style is simple and clear such as George Orwell, Ernest Hemmingway, John Steinbeck, Donald Kagan, Gore Vidal, William Faulkner, and many others. 

#writing #reading #books 

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