Monday, June 10, 2013

Clear, concise, and effective English for law students, bar examinees, and legal writers in organizations, private companies, and government offices (10): How to write clear, concise, and direct sentences

[1] “Short sentences are not an end by themselves. As legal writers, your goals are short and clear sentences.” As Napoleon Bonaparte emphasized to his runners who brought messages to his battlefield commanders, “Make it clear! Make it clear! Make it clear!”

[2] Techniques in creating clear, concise, and direct sentences (The Writing Center, University Wisconsin – Madison):

  • Unless you have a reason not to, use the active voice. Put the action of the sentence in the verb. 
  • Reduce wordy verbs.
  • Use expletive constructions (“It is,” “There is,” “There are”) sparingly. 
  • Try to avoid using vague, all-purpose nouns, which often lead to wordiness. 
  • Unless your readers are familiar with your terminology, avoid writing strings of nouns. 
  • Eliminate unnecessary prepositional phrases.
  • Avoid unnecessarily inflated words. 
  • Put wordy phrases on a diet.

Free seminars:

[1] “English Proficiency Course” (4 hours; for college students, K-to-12 teachers, other groups)

[2] “Clear, concise English for effective legal writing” (3-5 hours; for Student Councils, academic organizations, fraternities, sororities, NGOs, LGUs, any interested group)

Seminars are for Metro Manila only. For more information or to schedule a seminar, please contact Atty. Gerry T. Galacio at 0927-798-3138.

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