The Three Cs
When writing in any language, it is vital that your thoughts are clear and ordered so that the reader understands exactly what you want to say.
This is especially true when it comes to technical writing where sentences should not be left open for interpretation as interpretation can cost lives.
Thinking about the three Cs (Clear, Concise, Consistent) while writing will facilitate effective communication with you and the reader.
- What ideas or messages do you want to communicate?
- Are you using simple words to convey what you want to say?
- Have you limited the probability of sentences being interpreted in multiple different ways?
- Are you using long or short sentences?
Long sentences are often wordy and contain superfluous information.
This makes it difficult for your reader to extract the main points of the text. Use short and simple sentences. The Hemingway App is a great tool to check how easy your sentences are to read!
- Get to the point without rambling. People have very limited time and don’t want to spend time trying to extract the information they are looking for.
- Keep one idea per sentence.
- Keep paragraphs to one topic. Do not mix multiple topics into one paragraph.
- Be consistent with vocabulary. In an instruction manual for example, refer to a programmable logic controller as either a “PLC” or “Sequencer”. Do not use a mix of these terms in the same text.