In this post from Writers Write, your one-stop writing resource, we share a selection of our favourite quotes on writing to communicate.
At Writers Write our motto is: Write to communicate. Whether we are writing a novel, a blog, an email, or a business report, most of us want our readers to understand what we are writing.
- Creative writers who sell the most books write in plain English. Agatha Christie became the world’s best-selling author of all time by writing in clear, plain English. Most best-selling novelists do. [Read Analysing Agatha – How to become the best-selling novelist of all time.]
- Business writers need people to read their communications to get things done. Most of us do not have time to wade through long-winded, difficult writing. This includes reports, proposals, emails, speeches, contracts, and the copy on our websites. [Read Writing Effective Web Copy]
- Bloggers have to ensure that their writing is readable. If it is not, there are millions of other writers who will draw people to their sites. [Must-Read: 11 Reasons Why I Won’t Be Returning To Your Blog]
Mark Morris, Head of Clear English at the Department of Health in the UK says, “Across government, our sentences are too long, our words too complex, and our phrases stuffed with management jargon, technical language and acronyms. It’s enough to bring people out in a rash.”
In his post, Clarity is king, he explains that the more educated you are, the less likely you are to waste your time on bad writing. In 2012, research at the Thomas M Cooley Law School in Michigan into the use of language in legal documents found two things.
‘First, when given a choice, 80% of people preferred sentences written in clear English… and the more complex the issue, the greater that preference. But second, it found that the more educated the person, the more specialist their knowledge, the greater their preference for plain English.”
Writers Write believes that you should always aim to write as clearly and simply as you can. We want other people to understand what we say. Otherwise, why bother to write at all?
As Jean Cocteau said, ‘Style is a simple way of saying complicated things.’
We hope you enjoy the quotes in this infographic about writing to communicate.
Source for Infographic
If you want to improve your business writing skills, join us for The Plain Language Programme. If you want to learn how to write a book, join our Writers Write course in Johannesburg or sign up for our online course.