Writing: Shorter is
Think about this quote:
"I have made this letter longer than usual, only because I have not had time to make it shorter."
- Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)
We are inundated with information. People are starved for time and as such they greatly respect and value short correspondence, articles and blog posts.
If you want people to read something, make it short and concise. A paragraph that runs five sentences long is daunting and there is a good chance that the reader will not read it.
Here Are Some
1. Use short words.
They are easier to understand - so use simple English even if it offends your sense of literacy.
2. Use dashes to shorten up a
Most readers are not grammatical experts and value sentences that are more in line with the way they speak - so use dashes to make the message clear.
3. Use bullet points and numbered
They keep the message clear and organized in our minds.
4. Use plenty of space.
The more white background space on the page, the easier it is to read the black text. Double spacing text is easier to read than single spacing.
If you're reading a magazine and an article is
six pages of text, you might decide to read it later. And later
never comes. If the article is well-organized on one or two pages
with bullet points and short paragraphs, there's a better chance
it will be read right away.
The strain on our 21st century attention would be unimaginable to those who lived in the 19th century. And yet…
"I notice that you use plain, simple
language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to
write English - it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to
it; don't let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep
- Mark Twain