Chunk Your Writing Into Manageable Units

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Chunk your writing into manageable units. Your cal also make your writing easier to read by chunking it. That is by breaking up long stretches of writing into separate units so they’re easer to process. Chunking is the principle behind grouping digits in telephone, Social security and credit card numbers – would you ever remember your sister’s phone number if it were written 2140117760? But if you break in into smaller units – 214 – 011 - 7760 – it’s easier to read and remember. So, chunk your writing into manageable units.

You’re chunking your writing when you break up long sentences into shorter ones and divide long paragraphs into shorter paragraphs as we discussed in
the previous section on Keep Your Sentences and Paragraphs to a Reasonable Length. You can also break paragraphs into manageable chunks by inserting numbers that mark off units.

Here’s an example:

For several reasons, you can’t count on scores from standardized tests to predict a student’s college performance accurately. (1) Test doesn’t measure perseverance, a crucial quality for success in college. (2) They don’t test a person’s study habits or ability to set priorities. (3) Tests don’t reflect the value a student’s family places on grades and intellectual achievement. (4) Tests don’t measure a student’s confidence and maturity.

Notice how the numbers break the paragraph into chunks but also retain its unity. They also act as nudges that move the reader along into right direction.

Another good way to break up a long sentence or paragraph is to display the contents in a list.

For example, you would probably lose your reader’s attention halfway through this sentence.

Successful bosses know that factors that make for job satisfaction are complex and include challenge, recognition, autonomy, status in the group, harmony on the job, variety of tasks, intellectual simulation and significant work as well as money.

There’s just too much information jammed together. But if you break the same information out into a list, readers can absorb it.

Successful basses know that employees get job satisfaction from many factors, not just money.

They include:


Harmony on the job


Variety of tasks


Intellectual satisfaction

Status in the group

Signification work

You can also break your writing into chunks by setting off material in boxes, pasting in graphics or pictures to break up long passages of text, creating charts or dividing your writing into columns if you’re creating a brochure or a newsletter. You’ll find more tips about breaking up your writing and displaying information effectively in Chapter 11 on Document Design.

Other Pages in This Section :Choose A Good Title.

Write Strong Leads.

Keep Your Writing Tight And Unified.

Keep Your Sentences and Paragraphs to a Reasonable Length.

Avoid Antagonizing Your Readers.

Make Your Writing Look Good.

Use Figurative And Connotative Language Sparingly.

Avoid Stereotypes And Offensive Labeling.

Maintain A Civil Tone.

Successful Writing Index

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