1. Write in plain language: Remember you are writing for the user or for a particular audience. Think clear, concise communications aimed at the audience’s level of knowledge, vernacular, and ability. If the vocabulary or context used is not understood, you have already missed the goal of communicating effectively. Know your audience and be concise.

2. Explain things before presenting them: Recently I read, “Water will start to boil at 74˚F…” I immediately questioned the information in the entire article, but it continued on the next page saying, “… in a vacuum.” Word order and formatting can confuse readers or make them question the message. A reader might stop reading, not realizing the next sentence or paragraph would have explained what the previous statement was trying to communicate. Often a writer might say, “Well if they would read the whole thing they would understand.” The problem is if a reader gets confused or it is difficult to read, they might not read the whole document.

3. Avoid first person: In formal technical writing, using first person (I, we, etc.) is discouraged. This might alter depending on application, or if the writing is more informal. Again, the main point is to communicate with your audience.