Which paragraph is easier to read?
1. The ability to write clearly and effectively is a critical professional skill. This program will assist participants to plan, organise and structure their writing to achieve better results with written communications. Through the practical application of writing and editing skills, participants will learn to write documents that are reader-oriented and communicate clearly and effectively.
Now try this one:
2. Clear and effective writing is a top professional skill. This program will help you to plan and structure your writing to get better results. You will learn the skills needed to write and edit papers that are oriented to the reader and get your message across clearly.
Para 1 is from a popular two-day course: Business Writing Skills. Gunning Fog index 18.7. 18 years of education needed to figure out the meaning on first pass.
The second says the same in about half the words – Fog Index is 8.8. Much easier!
I would not sign up for that course!!!
In the Thinking Skills workshop I try to practice what I preach. For instance, go here for a superb tool to calculate the fog index of your latest masterpiece.
Improve your business writing. Join us here!