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Creating clear and consistent content

Updated on January 21, 2021

Create texts that are simple, clear, direct and informative. This is especially helpful to those whose native language is not English.

  • Be clear.

    Use simple sentences to communicate. Avoid uncertainty when providing instructions.
  • Be specific.

    Write exactly what you need to communicate. Be precise and only include the necessary details.
  • Be consistent.

    Your style, structure, format, and use of terms should be consistent.
  • Use the active voice.

    The active voice is concise and direct.
  • Use the present tense.

    Avoid the word “will” in your sentences.
  • Put statements in the positive form.

    A positive statement is comparable to using the active voice.
  • Use parallel structures.

    Elements (such as bulleted lists) that are alike in function should be alike in construction.
  • Use sentence variety.

    Vary the length of your sentences. Avoid beginning sentences in the same way.
  • Use a variety of formats.

    Bulleted lists, numbered lists, tables, etc.
  • Use a conversational style without the jargon.

    Use the second person singular (you).
  • Previous topic Tone, voice, and terms to avoid
  • Next topic Guidelines for topic and article file names, titles, and locations

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