How can you improve the readability of your website, blog, newsletter, or brochure? Here are 4 tips for readable writing:

  1. Get to the point quickly.
  2. Keep your text concise.
  3. Use plain language.
  4. And write readable sentences.

Scroll down for more details. 

But why should you write a readable text? Because your customers understand a readable text better. And this is also good for you. With readable text customers need less time to understand what you are saying. Because of this, they will contact you less often with their questions. And that saves unneeded costs.

And how much people benefit from an understandable text? Quite a lot as it turns out. Research shows that in both the UK and US about 1/6th of the population is low literate. Further research shows that 50% of Americans read at 8th grade level or lower. This is at the top of their game. Also, readable writing is not only good for the average adult. Also highly intelligent readers understand a readable text better.  

Bad example of readable writing: using long and difficult words such as hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia (fear of long words). Background image: “A hippo” by Jaime de la Fuente is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This is an example of what not to do. Using long and difficult words. So, let’s not keep you waiting. Here are 4 tips to write readable texts:

1. Get to the point quickly

Don’t keep your reader waiting. Place your most important points in front. This is how you can make your point quickly:

  • Place the main idea at the beginning of your article.
  • Place the paragraph sentence with the main point at the start.
  • Place the main point of a sentence at the beginning of the sentence.

2. Keep your text concise

Don’t tire your reader with too much text. You will lose the reader’s attention. This is how you can keep it concise:

  • Remove unneeded text.
  • Write short paragraphs. Use max 5 to 6 sentences per paragraph.
  • Keep sentences short.
  • Use shorter words with the same meaning.

3. Use plain language

Using difficult language seems smart. But it’s not. Only use difficult language if you can’t avoid it. This is how you keep your language understandable:

  • Use plain words. Explain difficult words. Give examples.
  • Avoid a writing style which relies heavily on the use of verbs as nouns.
  • Use active language. Passive sentences are harder to read. Bad example: “A readable text was written by me”. Better: “I wrote a readable text”.
  • Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes.

4. Write readable sentences

Too difficult sentences confuse the reader. This is how you write readable sentences:

  • Split long sentences in two.
  • Communicate only one message per sentence.
  • Keep related words together.
  • Use words that show the structure in a text. Think for example of words such as “however” and “but”.

Do you have more tips for readable writing? React in the comments down below!

Want help with readable writing?

I wrote this text with some help. I used the WizeNote readable text editor to analyze my writing. This tool helps in several ways. For example, the tool highlights difficult words. But it also recognizes passive language and long sentences. Wizenoze has more tools for readable texts:

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