There’s no doubt that writing skills have become a staple for anyone in today’s world. Studies reveal that there are more than 600 million blogs on the internet, with over 7.5 million blog posts published per day in 2023. Shocking, right? It gets even more surprising. These posts don’t include press releases, scholarly articles, or other forms of writing people consume daily. Writing is essential for most professions, your personal life, and even your relationships with people.
Words can shape the first impression you make on people. So when your writing is poor, you lose communicating essential points, among other things, such as logic, right intentions, and good credibility. The need for good writing also shows up in actions like creating an email to your boss, writing a note to your professor, or even composing your resume and cover letter. No matter where you find yourself, you can’t underestimate the power of good writing.
Fortunately, there are tips curated by the CEO of AI lending platform Upstart and former President of Google Apps, Dave Girouard, to guide you on how to write effectively.
Continue reading as we take you through some of them.
8 Essential Tips for Effective Writing
- Use short and simple words
Simpler words are adequate when it comes to business communications. Writing in brief, straightforward sentences doesn’t imply you are ‘dumbing down’ the message. It indicates that you express your significant and intricate ideas as plainly and successfully as possible.
2. Use more verbs
Rather than adjectives and adverbs, learn to employ verbs more for effective writing. Using active verbs in writing is vital for developing solid and captivating phrases. Active verbs make your writing more engaging by evoking a sense of movement and energy.
3. Do away with unnecessary words
It takes time and effort to write concise sentences. However, you can reduce this work by doing certain things. To begin with, don’t use filler words like very, relatively, little, indeed, somewhat, really, kind of, etc.
Also, try to use a word only if you can point out what part of speech it is. However, you can use “I think.” It shows that you thought about that expression before typing it, and readers appreciate this.
4. Use simple verb tenses
There are twelve verb tenses in the English language. Go with the ones that convey your ideas.
Also, the verb tenses must be consistent throughout the writing unless the meaning requires a change. Keep the verb in the past tense, for instance, if you are writing an essay about something that occurred in the past.
5. Avoid passive tense.
Learn how to use active and passive voices. Active voice construction places the action-doer as the subject of the sentence. On the other hand, the passive voice takes the subject and makes it the object of the sentence. For example:
The father spoke to his son.
This is the active voice. The father is doing the speaking.
The son was spoken to by the father.
The father is speaking in this sentence, but the son takes the subject spot in the sentence. It takes more words to convey the same meaning. This needs to be more concise and effective.
The passive tense tends to conceal the noun who’s doing an action. So try to avoid this by using the active tense.
7. Prioritise structure
An outline is the first step in effective writing because it helps communicate ideas. The fundamental framework of your essay or article is its outline. You have the framework, which you then fill out with specifics. The outline helps you stay organized and stops you from wandering off in a random direction.
Take note of the first sentence of any paragraph, as it sums up the entire paragraph. Then, the other sentences should support the first. Regarding an essay, the first paragraph should summarize the whole work. And each paragraph that follows should defend the first, too.
8. Be straightforward
Save your readers’ time. It pays to express yourself upfront. Sentences that are short, concise, and clear are effective. Sentences that are wordy lack impact.
As a good writer, learn to make your point in a few words instead of droning on for several sentences. Optional words confuse the meaning and stress the reader. However, your reader will appreciate your directness if you’re clear with your intentions.
9. Pay less attention to the rules
Any good writer has a good grasp of English and knows how to make the most of it. In doing so, they can break all the rules. However, there’s a rule to hold on to dearly: empathy for the reader.
Put yourself in the reader’s position and view your writing from that angle. When you do that, you’re on your way to becoming a great writer.
Every writer has their own unique writing style. Some explore the use of simple words and short sentences while others incorporate direct diction that keep readers engaged. It’s a no-brainer that preserving your unique authorial tone is important. However, it’s important to also elevate your writing style with intentional choices about structure, inclusion and communication.
Remember that everyone who has grown from being good to being better at their craft has gone through a stage called practice. Writing is no different. If you want to write effectively, be it for professional, academic, or personal reasons, it’s essential to practice. Anytime you make a move to write, try these tips and see how they improve your writing.