Keep Your Sentences Focused and to the Point

Studies show most readers can easily and quickly assimilate sentences of between twelve and eighteen words in length. Sentences of more than eighteen words or about two lines either slow them down and require rereading, or get misunderstood.

Run-on sentences of more than say, three lines, or about twenty-four words, give readers the most difficulty. If you want to communicate in an easily understood style, rein-in your run-on sentences. Keep them focused and to the point. Review your final ms. and rewrite any sentences you find that are three lines or longer into two shorter ones. Hint: Look for commas and semicolons that could be turned into periods.

Failure to tighten flaccid, verbose writing: Crisp, to-the-point sentences compel reader interest. The unnecessary use or employment of overly verbose words and phrases can prove tiresome, causing reader interest to dwindle or altogether die. Or, perhaps I should follow my own advice and say here instead, “Being unnecessarily wordy lessens, may even kill, reader interest.” See the difference?

Always review what you have written for verbose sections with unnecessary words and phrases. Tighten the sentences by removing the inessential words. Remember, the more pointed the sentence, the more likely the reader is to get the point.

Hint: If you can condense a phrase into one several words shorter, without changing the meaning, you should.

Word of advice: Analyze your perform for imprecise, indirect phraseology. Substitute it with a great deal more concrete, particular language.

Try to prevent the employ connected with excessively fuzy terminology: That is actually easy to think about when you are communicating an idea because you know what you mean, when your phrasing is really very abstract.