Clear writing

A – Guidelines for clear writing

1 Know your audience
2 Know your purpose
3 Plan your structure
4 Keep sentences short and simple
5 Keep paragraphs short and cogent
6 Use active, not passive, verbs
7 Avoid hanging participles
8 Avoid nominalisations
9 Check grammar, spelling and punctuation
10 Test your writing on other people

B – Writing resources on the web

1 – Guidelines for clear writing

Plain language guide

Writing critically

Eliminating wordiness
University of Toronto

Plain English Campaign free guides
Plain English

The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
Purdue Owl

European Commission “Fight the Fog” (Note: PDF)
Fight the Fog

2 – Refresh your grammar and spelling

Guide to grammar and writing
Community College

Common errors in English usage

A simple guide to its versus it’s
Gary Shapiro

3 – Media style guides

The Economist style guide

The BBC style guide (Note: PDF)
BBC News

The Guardian style guide

4 – Writing for the web

London School of Economics guide
LSE guide

Web writing basics
University of Sheffield

Jakob Nielsen

Search engine optimisation (SEO)
Google Tools


5 – Online reference tools

Keele University