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In Search of Perfect Client Service Why lawyers don't seem to get it

Clear writing makes a difference

Posted in Commentary, General

Clear writing makes a difference. For the skeptic, we now have proof. Using 50 readability measures, the study’s authors found that by a huge amount, a more readable, easy to understand brief is more likely to prevail over a less readable brief.

So what is clear writing? For me, it means avoiding adjectives. Adjectives are a poor substitute for facts or argument that compel the conclusion a writer seeks to convey when using adjectives.  Ditto adverbs,

It means avoiding pronouns when possible.  If a reader needs to look back to understand the person represented by the pronoun, the pronoun should not be used.

It means short sentences.

It means shorter paragraphs.

It means good topical sentences.

It means good headlines.

It means accuracy and fair representation of the content of quoted material.

It means using simple words, so your reader doesn’t need a dictionary to understand what you mean.

It means telling a story in a way that creates the image of events in the reader’s eye.

It means more, but these are good starting points.