Archive: concise writing

Keep Attribution Short When Quoting People

Quotes are often followed by an executive’s lengthy title, sometimes more than one, but that level of specificity just slows the reader. Attribution is important, but there is no need to be excessive. The bank news release quote ended with  … said Pam...

Be Careful when Removing “That”

The word “that” is often unnecessary, but not always. Be sure you don’t cause readers to stumble. “Get rid of ‘that’; you don’t need it” is common advice, but as is often true with nuggets of wisdom about writing, it...

What Does it Mean to “Learn AP Style”?

When managers want their people to “learn AP style,” do they want people to thoroughly understand the AP Stylebook, or do they want people to write clearly and economically? Both are important to good writing. Readers everywhere appreciate the AP style of...

You can be Conversational and Still be Direct

Having a conversational tone is important, as long as it doesn’t hinder efficiency. The reader needs to know quickly why you are writing. Too often, messages are chatty at the beginning, either because people want to convey a friendly tone or because they...

Energize Your Writing; Uncover Buried Verbs

Verbs invigorate sentences and make writing lively and emphatic, but those action words often suffocate inside mushy nouns. We deprive ourselves of the chance to energize a sentence when we say They provided recommendations for improvements to our customer...