January 7 2010

Three ways to get active in 2010

by Barbie in Writing

With the New Year upon us, many folks are hitting the gym and resolving to stay active in 2010. Just as you aim to stay active physically, you should also focus on active writing. Active writing engages your reader, making your document more effective. Here are a few ways to get active this year.

1) Use subject-verb-object construction.

This basic sentence structure, which you first learned in elementary school, is the most direct and active way to write. Awkwardly constructed sentences can hinder clarity, so rely on the traditional construction to enhance reader understanding.

2) Eliminate unnecessary use of passive voice.

Most style guides caution against the use of passive voice, and rightfully so. Passive voice distances your reader from the content. Revising passive sentences to active ones is an obvious and effective way to actively engage your readers.

3) Use the imperative.

The most direct way to engage your readers and charge them to perform an action is by using the imperative. I use it in every blog post. Eliminate “you” as the subject since the “you” is implied, and begin your sentence with a strong verb.