The American Institute of CPAs reports:
"What makes good writing? Accuracy. Clarity. Brevity...[A]ll of us have to write something on a daily basis, whether it’s an email, proposal, presentation, article, and just about anything else...If you want your message to resonate, you’ll want to find ways to make your writing more appealing, interesting, and informative. The best way to do this is to pay attention to your word choice...Choose active voice...Passive voice, or leaving the subject out of the sentence, makes it look like you are trying to avoid responsibility...Choose precise words. All writing is made up of words...To keep your writing short and to the point, use specific words. For example, rather than 'several people,' use 'three people.'...Shorter phrases make your writing easier to read and more interesting; longer phrases, while technically accurate, muddy up your writing...Avoid words like 'utilize' rather than 'use,' 'ascertain' rather than 'find out.' Exciting writing is focused and simple...Choose appropriate words. If you write a technical piece for a publication, client, or colleague, you may choose to use jargon, acronyms, and industry-speak the intended audience naturally understands. When writing a note to a roommate or friend, you may choose to use slang or ultra-casual language. Either way, the reader needs to intuitively understand your point without asking questions or using Wikipedia to figure out what you’re trying to say...Spend time reading and reviewing your work, even if it’s a simple email. Make sure you’ve used clear and concise words, and that you’ve stopped writing when you’ve made your point. Word choice can showcase your knowledge and education … or make you look juvenile and amateur. As Mark Twain said: The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."
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