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Make It Readable Cheat Sheet by

Essential tips for making your writing readable
writing     readability     readable

Focus on your audience

Base your writing style on your audience.
Speak to your audience person­ally, if approp­riate, using a conver­sat­ional tone.

Make your writing visually appealing

Choose an easy-t­o-read font and colors.
Use blank space liberally – specif­ically, avoid the “wall of text”.
Highlight important inform­ation with bolding, or indent­ation.

Make the structure obvious

Use inform­ative headings to provide organi­zation and to add visual appeal.
Use sub-he­adings to transition between ideas and to break up long passages.

Write short paragraphs

Each paragraph should focus on a single idea or concept.
Introduce the main idea of the paragraph in its first sentence.
Each paragraph should include 3-5 sentences.
Single­-se­ntence paragraphs can be very effective.
Use transition words between sentences, such as “first”, “there­fore”.

Use short sentences

Standard sentence length is 17 words; 11 words or less is considered easy to read.
Sentences should be no longer than 20 words.
Mix long and short sentences for better flow and variety.
Look for opport­unities to break up compound sentences and to eliminate superf­luous or redundant ideas.
Remove unnece­ssary adjectives or adverbs.
Introduce no more than one idea in a sentence.

Use easy words

Use words with no more than 4 syllables.
Avoid jargon whenever possible.
Use synonyms for variety.

Use active voice

Passive voice tends to be longer and more difficult to follow; active voice is concise.

Test before you publish

Make sure your writing is as readable as you intended.

Check the Readab­ility of Your Writing

Find your Readab­ility score at Readable.io.

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