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Clarity and Brevity in Web Writing

Remember: clarity is what our readers think is clear.

Never assume that what's clear to you is clear to your readers. Test everything. If you can't test content on the target audience (and why not?) at least test it on somebody outside the area of expertise for which you're writing.

Don't test writing through friends or colleagues.

Have clear-cut objectives. Write those objectives down before starting to write, and then stick to them. Cut out anything that doesn't apply. Extraneous text doesn't add meaning - it's just waffle.

Web readers have a short attention span and no interest in the extent of our vocabularies. Make content clear, and make it brief.

  • Get to the point. Then stop.
  • Use plain English.
  • Express one thought at a time.
  • Let the facts speak for themselves.
  • Use short words and phrases.
  • Never use a long word when a short one will do.
  • If it's possible to cut out a word, cut it out.

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