13 timeless writing reminders

Craft short sentences, delete fluff, and get straight to your key point.

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Writing doesn’t come easily for many people, but it’s a crucial skill to master in business—and in life.

Clear, concise prose is essential, whether you’re preparing an internal company memo, creating a proposal for a client, emailing your boss about a concern or compiling a newsletter. Strong writing skills will serve you well throughout your career.

Here are 13 writing tips to remember, no matter the audience:

1. Write short sentences and paragraphs. If a sentence runs beyond two lines, break it up into smaller sentences. Paragraphs should rarely be more than three or four short sentences. Keep sentences and paragraphs concise.

2. Use simple words. Use use, not utilize. Try help instead of facilitate or start in place of commence. Straightforward language is best.

3. Cut out filler and fluff. Delete words such as “very,” “that,” “really” and “literally,” and go easy on the adjectives.

4. Use acronyms and other abbreviations sparingly. Use as few as possible—unless they are household names for your specific audience.

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