1. Write like you talk.

One of the fastest ways to improve your writing is not to write any word or phrase you wouldn’t use in conversation. That means deleting a phrase like “I am of the opinion that” — and replacing it with the conversational “I think.” Don’t worry — your readers won’t miss the formal stuff.

2.When in doubt, hit “Enter.”

A two- or three-line paragraph is a lot easier to read than a seven-line paragraph. Break up your longer blocks of text.

3. Avoid vague expressions.

Precise language is a key to great writing. Watch your use of “I’ll have that any day now” or “I’m finalizing the report.” Replace these with phrases that give concrete information – “I’ll have it for you Tuesday.”

4. Give your points room.

Want to make a point as strongly as possible? Give it lots of breathing room on the page or screen. Nothing makes a statement like “We came in under budget” more powerful or memorable than placing it all alone in its own paragraph.

5. Watch the jargon.

COTS. WYSIWYG. FASB. What am I talking about? Exactly. Not all of your readers know the quirky language of your area of focus. So when you’re writing for any audience other than your inner circle of co-workers, don’t use jargon without defining each term.