Make It Readable Cheat Sheet by stevem
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
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