What should everyone know about writing?

Answer by Barry Hampe:

  1. Use short words rather than long ones.[1]
  2. Use short sentences rather than long ones.[1]
  3. Use short paragraphs rather than long ones.[1]
  4. Use active voice {actor (subject) acts on (verb) someone or something (object)} [2] rather than passive voice {something (object) happened (verb)}.[3]
  5. Organize before you write. Start with an attention-catching paragraph that introduces the topic. Present evidence for and against your position. Close in a way that will satisfy the reader.
  6. Tell stories to make a point.
  7. Use quotations from research or interviews to bring the piece to life and to confirm your position.
  8. Tell the truth.
  9. Write a second draft from scratch.
  10. Cut the piece by 10 percent.

__________________________________

[1] Yes, sometimes the long one will be better. Most of the time it won't. You don't really understand a subject unless you can explain it in short words and short sentences.
[2] e.g. "John shot Bill."
[3] e.g. "Bill was shot."

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