Let’s continue with my top writing tips—the concrete techniques that I find myself referring to again and again as I coach lawyers. Here is the next tip in the series and the running list is posted below. Stay tuned!
Tip Two: Say Your Sentences Out Loud.
Say your sentences out loud. Say each sentence aloud to edit for plain English and to cure clutter and awkward constructions. The best writing mimics the cadence and rhythm of human speech. Trust your ear.
The Running List of Key Writing Tips
1. Speak human. Write in plain English. If you would not use a word or phrase when speaking with a colleague, don’t use it in your writing. (By the way, plain English does not mean simple English. You are entitled to use your massive vocabulary, but use that vocabulary to convey nuance and precision—not to show off.)
P. S. These techniques are a nutshell summary of the key principles in my book, The Lawyer’s Essential Guide to Writing (ABA 2011). Follow the link to see what people have said about the book or to order it from the ABA, Amazon or Itunes.