The more I edit writing and content, the clearer it is to see common practices. Below are a few tips to avoid providing your readers a smoother read.
Long sentences: A long sentence is acceptable if you structure it well. Most people are comfortable reading sentences with 16-25 words, especially online. But vary your sentence length in paragraphs for interest. Consider two sentences if your sentences are long.
Adverbs: (modify verbs). The following adverbs are used frequently, so use them sparingly. “Very, really, only,” (never use ‘really unique’). If something is unique, it means there is no other like it. Instead of modifying a verb, find a stronger verb which states it better.
it’s really beautiful = it’s exquisite
Punctuation: Incorrect punctuation can confuse and slow down the reader, or worse – change the meaning of a sentence. The Serial Comma (or last comma in a series) can make a big difference.
My parents, Mother Teresa and the Pope. (parenthetical – 2 people – implying the parents are Mother Teresa and the Pope.
My parents, Mother Teresa, and the Pope. (4 people)
Unnecessary phrases. “In order to” In order to hold a meeting, we must …
Simply put: To hold a meeting, we must … . Same with “in terms of.” Look for ways to write clearly.
More tips to come …