From the back covers of "Style, Lessons in Clarity and Grace" by Joseph M. Williams and Gregory G. Colomb

Ten Principles for Writing Clearly

  1. Distinguish real grammatical rules from folklore
  2. Use subjects to name the characters in your story
  3. Use verbs to name their important actions
  4. Open your sentences with familiar units of information
  5. Get to the main verb quickly:
  6. avoid long introductory phrases and clauses
  7. avoid long abstract subjects
  8. avoid interrupting the subject-verb connection
  9. Push new , complex units of information to the end of the sentence
  10. Begin sentences that form a unit with consistent topic/subjects
  11. Be concise:
  12. cut meaningless and repeated words and obvious implications
  13. put the meaning of phrases into one or two words
  14. prefer affirmative sentences to negative ones.
  15. Control sprawl:
  16. don't tack more than one subordinate clause onto another
  17. extend a sentence with resumptive, summative, and free modifiers
  18. extend a sentence with coordinate structures after verbs.
  19. Above all, write to others as you would have others write to you.

Ten Principles for Writing Coherently

  1. In your introduction, motivate readers to read carefully by stating a problem they should care about.
  2. State your point, the solution to the problem, at or near the end of that introduction
  3. In that point, introduce the important concepts that you will develop in what follows
  4. Make everything that follows relevant to your point
  5. Make it clear where each part/section begins and ends
  6. Order parts in a way that makes clear and visible sense to your readers
  7. Open each part/section with its own short introductory segment
  8. Put the point of each part/section at the end of that opening segment
  9. Begin sentences that form a unit with consistent topic/subjects
  10. Create cohesive old-new ties between sentences.

Author: Marco Chiarandini

Date: 2011-01-06 17:19:38 CET

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