Have you ever received an email that was unclear? How about one that was so long you didn’t want to read it? And how about one that you read over and over again and still couldn’t understand it?
Even though English is the global language of business, it seems that very few people use it effectively (even native speakers). Inappropriate use of English means we use complicated grammar structures, unrecognisable words and never ending sentences and paragraphs.
Rather than bore you with details of all the things you shouldn’t use, I’m just going to get straight to the point. If you’re writing something important, then remember the number 23.
23 means keep sentences to within 20 words, and paragraphs to within 3 sentences. Follow this rule religiously, and then, as if by magic, your writing will become much clearer.
Try it for yourself.
The next time you need to write something important, first write it out as you would normally. Then once you’ve finished it, go through and review it. Look for paragraphs and sentences that break the 23 rule, then rewrite them to match it.
Following this rule forces you to minimise use of overly complex grammar structures and words. And by doing so, your writing becomes much easier to comprehend.
To take it a step further, try copying and pasting your written work into one of the websites below:
These websites measure the readability of your writing. They’ll tell you just how clear your writing is, and how to make it even clearer.
So next time you need to write something important, remember 23. Your readers will thank you!