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Make It Readable Cheat Sheet by

Essential tips for making your writing readable

Focus on your audience

Base your writing style on your audience.
Speak to your audience person­ally, if approp­riate, using a conver­sat­ional tone.

Make your writing visually appealing

Choose an easy-t­o-read font and colors.
Use blank space liberally – specif­ically, avoid the “wall of text”.
Highlight important inform­ation with bolding, or indent­ation.

Make the structure obvious

Use inform­ative headings to provide organi­zation and to add visual appeal.
Use sub-he­adings to transition between ideas and to break up long passages.

Write short paragraphs

Each paragraph should focus on a single idea or concept.
Introduce the main idea of the paragraph in its first sentence.
Each paragraph should include 3-5 sentences.
Single­-se­ntence paragraphs can be very effective.
Use transition words between sentences, such as “first”, “there­fore”.

Use short sentences

Standard sentence length is 17 words; 11 words or less is considered easy to read.
Sentences should be no longer than 20 words.
Mix long and short sentences for better flow and variety.
Look for opport­unities to break up compound sentences and to eliminate superf­luous or redundant ideas.
Remove unnece­ssary adjectives or adverbs.
Introduce no more than one idea in a sentence.

Use easy words

Use words with no more than 4 syllables.
Avoid jargon whenever possible.
Use synonyms for variety.

Use active voice

Passive voice tends to be longer and more difficult to follow; active voice is concise.

Test before you publish

Make sure your writing is as readable as you intended.

Check the Readab­ility of Your Writing

Find your Readab­ility score at Readab­


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