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It’s not worth going into this topic in too much detail, as everything about it is pretty obvious. In short, you need to keep your writing clear and concise.

Make it short and punchy, and it will carry the reader along towards the conclusion. While I’m talking about non-fiction and instructional writing, the same applies to pretty much any type. Even florid poetry requires a decisive edge to the choice and position of words, to meet its own kind of clarity.

Now, it’s not always possible to get this right. Even if you’ve been working as a writer for years and years (…) you will find that from time-to-time you’re inclined to drop in extra adjectives where they’re not needed.

The short-term solution is to find some tools to help you keep things tight. Try these two options.

  1. Microsoft Word 2016 features a clever tool to help you to keep things brief. When writing, look out for phrases underlined with twin blue lines. Right-click to find a preferred (usually shorter) phrase, and left-click to change it.
  2. Word’s feature is inspired by the Hemingway app, a browser based tool into which you can paste your prose. Hemingway can read your text, find the unnecessary words, and highlight them for you to edit. (I used Hemingway with this post, which managed a Grade 7 score.)

Monitoring your progress with this can genuinely turn you into a better writer. Although the tools are useful, you won’t get it right overnight. But as long as you recognize the importance of clarity, your readers will appreciate your writing.