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Can you please get to the point?

Your readers may not say this to you, but may be thinking it. Who wants to read a long, rambling treatment of a subject rather than a clear, concise explanation? The former suggests the writer has not clearly thought out what he or she wants to convey to readers. Why test your readers' patience and risk alienating them?

It is far better to carefully plan your writing in advance. Think of how you would prepare for a speech. Start your plan by listing the key points that you wish to convey. Then, list any subordinate points you wish to make. Next, rewrite your list with key points and subordinate points arranged in descending order of importance.

Flesh out your plan by adding examples or anecdotes for each of your key points. Do the same for some or all of your subordinate points. Each example or anecdotes can be noted in an abbreviated form in your plan - just sufficient to serve as a reminder when you begin the actual writing.

Now that you have a plan, compose an opening sentence. Begin by carefully reviewing the points in your plan. Remember to think of your writing as a speech as you compose your opening. Then, write your opening sentence at the top of a page. When you are happy with your opening sentence, repeat this approach to compose a good closing sentence for your writing.

If you have done what is suggested in the preceding paragraphs, you will have a writing plan or outline of the article that you will put to paper. You have an opening sentence, a list of points and sub-points to convey in order of importance, examples or anecdotes, and a closing sentence. If you adopt the mindset of a public speaker again, you should find it to be a relatively simple matter to transform your outline or summary into a finished written article.

If you follow these suggestions, your writing will be clear and concise. Your reader will understand easily and quickly what you wish to communicate. There will be no reader in your audience saying to himself or herself. "Can you please get to the point?"

About The Author

George Robinson is the chief editor of , a North American editing service that helps you to improve your scientific paper, technical article, thesis, dissertation, or other technical writing or business document.

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