Nominalizations—verbs or adjectives that have been converted into nouns—are common sources of obscurity, wordiness, and needless complexity in professional writing. While nominalizations may seem more formal when they appear in phrases like “reach a decision” or “make an assumption,” that requires equating formality with stodginess.Continue reading
Effective business communication relies on clear, concise, specific, and meaningful writing. Clichés fail all four requirements. In your first draft, a cliché may feel so easy and familiar to write that it seems irreplaceable. But, upon revision, you’ll see that clichés are unoriginal, broad generalizations—and often redundant. Delete them. Replace them. Your readers will reward you with their attention.
A major advantage of eliminating clichés from your business writing is the clarity and precision it brings. Without the clutter of overused phrases, your writing will be more persuasive and impactful, and you’ll be seen as more authentic, authoritative, and trustworthy.Continue reading
Legal writing requires the ability to present clear and persuasive arguments, which is why legal briefs need effective organization and structure. Two tools for enhancing the persuasive power of a brief are the Table of Contents (ToC) and point headings. By leveraging technology and honing organizational skills, lawyers can improve the clarity, coherence, and impact of their writing. Technology can simplify creating, organizing, and editing legal briefs so you can focus on finding the most persuasive arguments. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of large- and small-scale organization and how to achieve it, as well as technology tools to help you construct a better legal brief.Continue reading
Effective legal writing involves connecting compelling arguments with cited support from relevant legal authorities. A clear understanding of these authorities’ hierarchy amplifies the persuasive strength of your assertions. Mastering tools like the Table of Authorities (TOA) in Microsoft Word can improve your productivity. Combining legal writing skills with technological assistance elevates the quality of your work, ensures adherence to court timelines, and helps you concentrate on your argumentation.Continue reading
Legal and business writing require a blend of precision, clarity, persuasion, and organization. With so many necessary elements, most legal and business documents are long and require more structure—for writers and readers—than a typical document. For writers, structure helps you maintain focus while crafting document content; for readers, structure guides them through the document and helps them see logical connections. Structure supports understanding, so finding ways to easily implement and adhere to structure will help you improve substance.Continue reading
Business and legal documents must be precise, clear, and carefully structured because they serve as legal records, define relationships, and document important decisions. But writing in these fields is rarely done alone. A combination of authors, resources, and tools contribute to the final document. Subtle adjustments can change meaning or transform a good piece into an exceptional one. Tracking the evolution of a document and the source of changes is important to understand how and why the document changed so you can make sure it doesn’t drift from its goals.Continue reading
Something feels off about your new robot co-worker—besides the fact that your co-worker is a robot. This robot produces grammatically correct text at lightning speed. The writing seems natural, not robotic. It’s impressive, but is this text good and should you adopt it as your own?Continue reading
Lawyers encounter hypothetical scenarios and conditional situations daily, so they must consider what might happen or what could have happened. Two powerful tools help lawyers write about hypotheticals with precision and clarity: the subjunctive mood and conditional phrasing.Continue reading
Intensifiers are like vitamins— they’re meant to strengthen but become poisonous when you exceed the recommended dose. Let’s save you from your childhood writing (and chewable vitamin) mistakes.
Intensifiers are words or expressions designed to intensify the words around them, but often have the opposite effect. They are usually adjectives and adverbs, and they are particularly bad when used to modify absolute words. Common intensifiers include very, really, incredibly, and extremely.Continue reading
In sales and marketing you’re advised not to talk past the point of the sale. That means when the buyer says yes, you stop trying to sell them. Continuing to talk may turn your yes into a no. This is also good advice for writing: Once you’ve made your point, stop.
Though much writing advice focuses on how to cut to the point, little advice discusses how to stop once you’ve reached it. Yet restraint will make your sentences powerful and your documents readable.Continue reading