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Language, tone, and style

Read this article to learn how to make your writing shine.
Stylised drawing of two people reading a book and sharing ideas
© FrankCapability Limited

The style of your writing is just as important as the substance.

You began your narrative process by telling your story in your own words, in conversational English, to test your understanding of the content. You can apply this principle again as you flesh out your narrative.
Great writing is about striking a balance between simplicity and vigour. The more comfortable you are with your subject matter, the easier it will be to keep your language simple.

Keep it simple
Formal language can easily overcomplicate and labour a simple point. Always look for the simplest way to say something, and the least emotive language to convey the point. Having said that, just because it’s simple and clear doesn’t mean it has to be lacklustre!

Write with energy
Your job is to make the reader care! Maintaining the interest of your reader with engaging writing helps them to grasp and stay focused on the content.

Avoid being sesquipedalian!
In other words, choose the simplest word for the job. The more comfortable you are with your subject matter, the easier it will be to keep your language simple.

Here are some examples of choosing the simplest word for the job:

‘Utilise’ becomes ‘Use’
‘Commence’ becomes ‘Start’
‘Myriad’ becomes ‘Many’
‘Reside’ becomes ‘Live’
‘Prior to’ becomes ‘Before’.

Are there any language, tone, or style top tips or pitfalls that you have recently seen in pieces of writing? Share your thoughts in the comments section and let’s learn together.

© FrankCapability Limited
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Compelling Narratives for Complex Decisions: Policy Analyst Fundamentals

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