Seven Writing Myths

Avoid being enslaved by seven writing myths. Here are those seven non-rules imposed on writers that can be safely discarded:

(1) You must not start a sentence with ‘but’, ‘so’, ‘because’, ‘and’, and ‘however’.

(2) You must not put a comma before ‘and’. A comma before ‘and’ may, in fact, help the reader to see how the sentence is constructed, or put a pause exactly where you want it.

(3) You must not end a sentence with a preposition.

(4) You must not split your infinitives - If you think a sentence will be more emphatic, clear or rhythmical, split your infinitive – there is no reason in logic or grammar for avoiding it.

(5) You must not write a one-sentence paragraph. If you can say what you want to say in a single sentence that lacks a direct connection with any other sentence, just stop there and go on to a new paragraph; there’s no rule against it.

(6) You should write as you speak.

(7) You should test your writing with a readability formula.

Related Links:

Keep Sentences Short.
Use words your readers are likely to understand.
Use only as many words as you really need.
Prefer the active voice.
Use the clearest, liveliest verb to express your thoughts.
Use Vertical Lists to make complex materil understandable.
Keep Electronic Text Communication simple.
Put your points positively when you can.
Reduce cross-references to the minimum.
Try to avoid sexist usage.
Avoidable English Errors are so many.
Avoid fusty first sentences and formula finishes.
Put accurate punctuation at the heart of your writing.
Avoid being enslaved by seven writing myths.
Plan Before You Write.
Organize your material in a simple way.
Consider different ways of setting out your information.
Devote special effort to producing lucid instructions.
Use clear layout to present your plain words.

Plain English Index

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