Posted by: episystechpubs | July 13, 2015

Editor’s Corner: Writing Tip #7

Here we are, back to the ten tips. Just as a reminder they are from the article “10 Top Writing Tips and the Psychology Behind Them,” by Josh Bernoff. In case you want to read the whole article at once, or see his other topics, I’m providing the link again. And remember, this is the link with the swearing in it, so if you don’t like the language of sailors, pirates, and angry editors, don’t visit it—just wait for me to dole out the tips over a couple of days. The not-so-safe-for-work link is here.

And by the way, I love this rule. It will help you avoid the passive voice, it supports the imperative voice, and it leads to stronger writing. It’s a great tip for writing clear instructions.

§ Tip #7: Use “I,” “we,” and “you.”

Why it matters. Taken together, these pronouns create a relationship between the writer (“I”), his [KC – Or her] organization (“we”), and the reader (“you.”)

Why you don’t use these pronouns. It’s scary to talk directly to reader. It sounds informal.

How to fix it. Imagine the reader. Then rewrite using the word “you.” For example, rewrite the Fenway Park rule “No bag or item larger than 16″x16″x8″ will be permitted inside the Park,” as “Security staff won’t let you in the park if your bag is too big.”

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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