- it makes it easier for us to read.
- it draws the reader’s attention to the text.
- it is uncluttered and calming.
- Use lists. When you list items it makes it scannable. If you have more than three points it is better to number your items instead of using bullets. Try not to use more than 3-5 bullets.
- Increase line spacing. If it is possible increase your line spacing on your documents. A good average is 1.5. Remember to refer to the company style guide before you do this.
- Shorten your sentences. Long sentences form solid blocks. You should vary the length of your sentences.
- Break up paragraphs. Reconsider your paragraphs and try to discuss only one point per paragraph.
- Avoid justifying your documents. People are passionate about justifying their documents, but it makes it harder to read and proofread. Most professional documents have been typeset and your average computer doesn’t typset very well. It creates rivulets (diagonal spaces) between the words, uneven spaces in sentences and solid blocks of text.
If you are interested in learning how to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme.
by Mia Botha
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