|“If you would be pungent, be brief. For it is with words as with
sunbeams: The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.” —
“Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” — William Strunk, Jr.
“Any addition to the truth is a subtraction from it.” — Alexander Solzhenitsyn
In general, the best writing is simple and direct. Writing that is simple and direct is most easily understood. It also tends to be the most forceful and memorable. Use no more words than necessary — and never use a complicated word if a simpler one will do just as well.
Many people seem to feel that writing in a complicated way makes one
sound serious, scholarly and authoritative. While this type of writing
may sound serious, it is no more authoritative than writing that is simple
and direct. Certainly, it is more difficult to understand. Often, it sounds
How can you achieve such a style? One technique is to use conversation
your guide. Pretend that you are explaining something, over the telephone,
to someone you know: a parent, a friend, a significant other — someone
who is not an expert in whatever it is that you are writing