5 Ways to Make Your Writing Readable

5 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR WRITING READABLE

The way to a reader’s heart is to make your writing readable. You may have flawless language and great ideas, but except your writing can be read with minimal effort, many of today’s readers will give it, and subsequently you, a wide berth.

5 Ways to Make Your Writing Readable

1. Use simple words

If your reader finds it hard to understand most of the words you use, you’re doing something wrong. No matter the level of your writing, make it easily comprehensible to those you’re writing for.

2. Use short sentences and paragraphs

The longer your sentences and paragraphs, the harder they will be to understand. In addition, errors of construction and mechanics can easily creep in when you lengthen your sentences, thus jeopardising the clarity of your work. Just one comma out of place can change the meaning of that long sentence or leave it open to different interpretations.

Shorter, block paragraphs help your writing to breathe and make your work look less forbidding on the page than endless lines of type.

3. Insert subheadings in long pieces

Subheadings help to communicate your points at a glance. They also help you present your ideas in small, digestible chunks. Many of today’s readers will not read hundreds or thousands of words to glean the points you wish to make. Unless you do the work for them through your subheadings, those patient enough to read might miss the points you’re communicating in the maze of words.

5 Ways to Make Your Writing Readable

4. Avoid excessive use of caps and italics

Some people type in all-caps. Some use italics a lot. These fonts are hard to read and should only be used sparingly, for titles and emphasis. Use conventional, roman fonts for the bulk of the body of your work. Stay away from highly decorative fonts, except for special purposes.

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5. Include illustrations

Illustrations, like pictures, drawings or charts give a graphic view of your message beyond what words can do. They are also great attention getters. So, placing illustrations strategically in your writing improves its aesthetics and amplifies your meaning. Catchy illustrations will draw more readers to your writing than text alone can.

To make the illustrations more effective, choose what relates to the topic of your post. Use a picture of a mom and her baby to illustrate an article on motherhood, for instance. Add some words to the image, if necessary. You can do simple graphic designs, even in the picture gallery of your phone.

However, do not overload your writing with illustrations, except you’re doing a photo story, for example.

Takeaway: If you want to be widely read, do not stress your readers. Make your writing readable.

You may also like these related posts:

JUST STARTING TO WRITE? Keep it short and simple

7 GREAT WAYS TO START AN ARTICLE

Further reading:

7 Strategies to Instantly Improve Readability and Write Content That Converts

Improve the Readability of Your Writing

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

39 comments

  • Emmanuel Eze

    Everything can simply be summarized as “keep it short and simple”. thanks ma’m

  • Abah Okpe Gabriel

    Thank you for giving us these clear tips on how to make our works readable. They’re very helpful. Good evening, ma!

  • Nwoke uchenna

    Now I can try all these methods on my blog. Thank you, Ma.

  • Chukwuemeka Ifunanya Abigail

    This post is so understandable, thanks ma. I have a question Ma, when it comes to illustrations in editorial writing, must every editorial have an illustration??

  • Victor-sunday Daniel

    This is a very vital information, especially to me an upcoming writer, thank u so much ma.

  • Nebo chinaza cynthia

    Well in my own opinion ma I would say u should consider ur reader’s level of literacy when writing, cause it would help them understand ur work better and with that u get to keep ur audience going.

  • Lesson:. Keep your work short and simple, for easy understanding.

  • Williams blessing Ngozi

    The use of the acronym kiss is very essential in one’s writing to convey one’s ideas efficiently.

  • Eze Chinalurumogu Success

    C’est parfait!!

    I have a question or somewhat like a suggestion. The part where you said “insert subheadings in long pieces”, Is it advisable for long articles and essays?
    Will it not make the work unappealing?

    • No, it won’t. It never good to have too many words without a break. Even in novels, the writers sometimes introduce breaks within chapters, even if they are not subheadings.

  • Chinecherem Stephens

    The Kiss Rule always applies. Keep it short and simple.

    Thanks ma’am

  • Okoro Ugochi Angel

    Very educative, especially d use of punctuation mark wrongly will render the whole story meaningless. eg1. Okoro Adindu loves cooking.
    Eg2. Okoro, Adindu loves cooking
    In eg1. one person loves cooking
    Eg2. Two people loves cooking.
    Thanks U ma for D writing tips. No. 2 got my attention.

    • Two people love cooking.

      I think in the second case (if we go by the punctuation and grammar, the speaker is telling Okoro that Adindu loves cooking.

      Anyway, thank you for helping to illustrate the importance of placing punctuation marks correctly.

  • Abiayi Ifeonuchukwu

    Thank you so much ma….This is very helpful to me. Most times for fear of boring my readers because I have so much to say but don’t know how to go about it, I just avoid writing at all.
    Now I know I can give my audience all the details they need in a simple format.

  • Eja Manifest Eji

    I think this should be made known to writers. Most writers kill the spirit of their readers.

    Most often, some writings do not have starting point and ending.

    I’ve got some important tips to enhance my writing skills. Thank you, ma.

  • Isaac sopuruchi peace

    I actually thought italics makes a piece to appear more beautiful, anyway too much of everything is bad.

  • Emmanuel Ejiofor

    Thank you ma for this reminder.

    “If you want to be widely read, do not stress your readers. Make your writing readable.” This quote in the article sums up everything for me

  • Thanks ma this is very helpful.
    If we follow this steps we will improve our writing skill

  • This is very educative!!
    Especially the aspect of using simple words..journalists or writers need to learn how to use simple words because if they fail to it may seem like they don’t consider their audience and they are just interested in showing off their own intelligence.

  • Opara Oluchi Dorathy

    I’m glad I have learnt something beneficial today. This piece has helped broaden my knowledge on writing. Thanks a bunch ma.

  • Ntiwunka Chiamaka

    If you want to be widely read, do not stress your readers.

  • Anekwe Paschaline

    Thank you Ma for another wonderful piece. I will try to apply these in writing

  • Asogwa Christian Tochukwu

    With the above-mentioned tips , I believe I will be a good writer. Thank you ma.

  • Adebanjo Adenike Rebecca

    The use of simple words is very vital to make one’s story readable and getting the attention of readers, to always want to check up, if you have another piece to inform them.

    Short sentences and graphic writing with illustrations to create mental picture. This will enable the reader to feel the reality of the story.

  • Amah John Ikenna

    As l can see, these are the rudiments of becoming a proficient journalist. Thanks Ma.

  • Agbowo Emmanuel chiagozie

    Thanks for the tips ma
    What is writing without readers digging into your work.

  • Chukwumalume Ozioma

    An amazing piece. The aspect of punctuation in writing cannot be over emphasized. Sometimes even the “short” paragraphs are not easily understandable because of wrong punctuation placement and the likes. Thank you ma.

    • Ugwu comfort

      Making your work simple and short is often regarded the best way of writing, cause in this era we are now people don’t often read long stories in some writing cause for some of them it delays their time.Also putting down illustration in your writing is very important cause it draws the attention of the readers to have a glance of what the write-up is talking about.

  • Mecha Favour

    Use of simple words makes your writing easy to understand , the readers need not to be impressed with ambiguous words that would confuse them .

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