7 Guidelines for writing better

This list provides a gist of the key guidelines for writing better from many canonical sources

1 Write in the active voice

Many style-guides, including the Elements of Style, recommend writing in the active voice. Active voice is concise and clearer. There is a raging debate in the scientific community about maintaining objectivity of research articles by writing in the passive voice, but major journals such as Nature and Science encourage their authors to write in the active voice. When you have to use the passive voice, clearly identify the actor.

2 Put actions in verbs

Avoid nominalizations of action verbs. So, write We performed and not We gave a performance". Or "He investigated" and not "He conducted an investigation.

3 Put characters in subjects

The main charactor, the actor should appear in the subject of the sentence.

4 Subjects should appear near verbs

Long gaps between the actors and their actions confuses the readers.

5 Put new information at end of sentences

Begin every sentence with concepts familiar to the reader and end it with new information. This strategy prevents re-reading and improves cohesiveness of content.

6 Match the first and last sentences of a paragraph

Paragraphs are units of composition. Start each paragraph with a topical sentence and end it with one that re-emphasizes the point made in the opening sentence. The rest of the paragraph should provide the details on the topic.

7 Omit needless words

Look back at every word you wrote and omit those that don't add value

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