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Six Proven Strategies for Clear, Concise, and Compelling Writing

Would you like your writing to be more clear, concise, and compelling? This article covers six proven strategies to move you there.  You’ll find that the strategies overlap and build upon each other. While each strategy will bring you closer to the goal of clear, concise,and compelling writing, used in combination, these strategies really boost the power of your writing.
  • Strategy 1: Write Directly and Actively. For example, Don’t write, “The distance fallen by the apple is in close proximity to the tree.,” when you can write, ” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Any sentence that goes roundabout rather than direct reads sluggishly. A series of such sentences takes on a rhythmic monotone, lulling the reader into a sleepy zone.
  • Strategy 2: Choose Plain Words over Fancy Ones. Remember this principle: We admire writers who can take complex ideas and make them understandable by clear and direct language. We do not admire writers who make simple ideas confusing by using unnecessarily lofty language. If you mean to say “lectured,” don’t say “pontificated.” If you mean to say “there is access to drive in and out”, don’t say “there is access ingress and egress.”
  • Strategy 3: Be Specific and Concrete. For example, the phrase, “a period of inclement weather arrived” is unclear, abstract, and not particularly interesting. The phrase, “It rained and sleeted for four days” is clear, concrete, and far more compelling.
  • Strategy 4: Use Comparisons. Comparisons are the often quickest route to make a clear, concise, and compelling point. Comparisons serve as shortcuts to understanding. For example, a writer might make a point as follows: “Mindy and her aunt had different priorities.” That same point becomes more clear and compelling if the writer changes the expression as follows: “Mindy shopped at Goodwill and her Aunt shopped at Sax Fifth Avenue.”
  • Strategy 5: Use Strong, Vivid Verbs. Active, vivid verbs make writing dynamic and even provocative. They make the writing move for the reader. Compare the following sentence using a bland verb, “The politician became more popular after he published a book,” with this once using a vivid verb, “The politician soared in popularity after he published a book.”
  • Strategy 6:  Write with Your Telephone Voice.  Most of us grew up believing writing is a task for which people are quick to judge us.  To measure up, we write to impress, just as we did in school.  This leads us to write with convoluted phrases and sentences.  For example, I see business letters that start, “pursuant to the above mentioned matter.”  There’s nothing clear, concise, or compelling about such a phrase!  Here’s a helpful rule:  Match your writing to the tone and phrases you use with a professional colleague or client on the phone.  Such a tone is neither too familiar nor too formal.  On the phone, you might say, “Regarding the proposal we submitted last week. . . . ”  Write this way, and things are easier for your and for your reader.

Follow these six strategies for clear, concise, and compelling writing.

To learn how to write with less stress and more success, sign up for our free report on the S.C.O.R.E.  Method to Write with Less Stress amd More Success at

Posted by Bonnie Budzowski in Article Marketing to Boost Your Business, Writing Mistakes and How to Fix Them, How to Write Content to Attract Clients, Business Writing Techniques, Multipurpose Content, Clear, Concise and Compelling Writing, Creating Content to Build Your Business and tagged , , , , , .


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