Tips for Readable Writing


Looking to freshen up your writing skills? If you’re new to writing or a seasoned professional you’ll find value in Dr. John Maguire’s practical readable writing tips.

He presents his teaching in a unique and easy to understand way. So if you’re looking to improve you’ll want to check out his blog.

Make sure to watch the videos on Dr. Maguire’s website. They’ll give you the basic idea of his perspective on writing and readability. If you like what you hear you can order his book College Writing Guide.

Learning to write well is not that difficult. A student can gain a dramatic improvement in three months, says Dr. Maguire.

Rules for Readable Writing

Five Rules for Readable Writing
From John Maguire’s College Writing Guide.

Dr. Maguire has some practical advice that will quickly improve your readability.

  • Write short Sentences. 17 words per sentence on average.
  • Ask yourself: What am I trying to say? What must I make sure I don’t leave out?
  • Avoid abstract words. Words that end with “ion” or “tion“. Use concrete nouns instead.
  • Fill you sentences with people. Having no people in your sentences is bad.
  • Passive verbs like: is, are, was, were are weak so you should avoid them. Instead one of the thousands of other verbs available to you.
  • Use short simple words. The fewer syllables the better. If there’s a shorter word use it. For example instead of using ‘conversation’ us the word ‘talk’ instead.
  • Use lots of objects. Think of things you can drop on your foot.