Key Principles of Good Writing
Know Your Audience
Avoid jargon and acronyms unless your readers speak your “language.”
Pursue a Clear Goal
Before you begin to write, define your reason for writing in a single phrase or sentence and jot this down, together with supporting facts or arguments. Articulate your goal in your first paragraph and anticipate readers’ fundamental questions.
State, Elaborate, Restate
Your opening and concluding sentences are likely to have the greatest impact on your readers. Use your opening statement to draw your readers into your text. Use your restatement to apply your ideas to the bigger picture.
Ensure that the most important elements in your message are conveyed first. By setting clear priorities, you may find that some ideas may be omitted altogether. Try to eliminate needless words in each sentence.
Write in Color
Analogies can help explain abstract ideas – from simple similes to extended metaphors.
Provide context for numbers. Explain why they are significant.
Strive for Courtesy
The “salutation” and “complimentary close” that distinguish traditional letters and notes also apply to emails, at least when initial contact is made. Only when email functions as a conversation, with multiple exchanges, should you dispense with this convention.
Since the brevity of emails can make them seem abrupt, soften their edges by using constructions such as “Thank you for contacting me,” or “I appreciate your concerns.”
Never write an email in anger. Before you do express yourself in writing, consider whether a conversation would serve you better.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Always be prepared to “sleep” on what you write.