When someone doesn’t understand what you write, you may think that the problem is the reader, not your writing. Think again! Clear writing means clear thinking, and unclear writing means unclear thinking.
To clarify your writing, sit down for a few minutes, breathe naturally, and allow your mind to settle. Then take another look at your written message. You will probably find that it’s not as clear as it could be. How do you fix it? First, get yourself a cup of tea or coffee; then sit down with your message and edit it:
- Correct grammar, spelling, punctuation as needed.
- Check for sentence complexity, syntax (word order), runon sentences (too long/split them into two).
- Replace passive verbs with active verbs.
- Delete any words, sentences, or paragraphs that don’t need to be there.
- Check for clear, logical development of ideas.
- Eliminate jargon and technical terms, especially if the target audience wouldn’t understand them.
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