One way to diminish the effect of your message is to load it up with words that are neither useful nor productive.
Two ways to kill your message:
- Write too many words to say something.
- Write something that does not need to be said.
A clear, concise, well-constructed message gets the response you seek from readers.
Take advantage of the power of punctuation
Punctuation controls how a reader understands a group of words. Let these punctuation tools guide you.
- The period urges the reader to stop and let what they just read sink in.
- The comma urges the reader to take a breath.
- The semicolon urges the reader to evaluate. It divides two pieces of information that are related.
- The colon urges the reader to pay attention, because something important is about to be said.
- The em dash and parentheses let the reader know there is a diversion ahead—information that is not crucial, but sheds light on the issue.
- The bulleted list helps the reader itemize each thing they are asked to know.
Of course, there are other tools, including brackets and exclamation points. These are rarely used in writing for the public. If you really want to use them, do so sparingly.
So, write you message clearly and concisely; and use the right punctuation to make it pop and drive it home.
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