Get to the Point

Get to the Point

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  1. When you are writing an article, especially an online one, you want to make your point fast. People want to get information quickly, and you want to keep their attention. One tenet of Associated Press Style is brevity. If you are rambling or using unnecessary words to make your point, you risk losing readers or not having your article published. Think of article writing as giving a speech. If the speaker were to clear her throat and beat around the bush, you’d just want her to hurry up and say it.

    Read Aloud

    Go ahead and let your writing flow if you tend to be wordy. But read aloud what you have written before submitting it. By hearing the words, you can probably tell whether you are meandering or repeating yourself, and then you can cut that part out. Plus, if you overuse filler, you might miss including some good points that people do want.

    Examples

    Just off the top of my head, I can show you how to shorten phrases that many people mistakenly use. For example, use “can” instead of “will be able to,” “all” instead of “all of,” “to” instead of “in order to,” “regularly” instead of “on a regular basis,” “simultaneously” instead of “at the same time,” “many” instead of “a large number” and “most” instead of “the majority of.” I just ran across a good tip the other day regarding the word “very.” Substitute the word “damn,” and you will soon realize how needless the word usually is.

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