Six steps to stronger writing

If you follow these suggestions, you will write more effectively in English, but these suggestions do not necessarily apply to poetry or fiction or other forms of creative writing. In particular, you probably want your prose to be clear if you are writing for (most) school assignments, work, and advocacy. Ambiguity permeates political speech, with mixed effects. You usually want to get rid of ambiguity in most daily prose — but in poetry (or romance), ambiguity may lead you in delightful new directions or open your eyes to connections and miracles you haven’t seen before.

1. Use the active voice most of the time.

2. Don’t overuse “to be” verbs.

3. Get rid of unnecessary words.

4. Be precise.

5. Be clear.

6. Read your work out loud.

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