Writing Tips in Plain English: Workbook

Clutter is the disease of American writing. We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon. (Zinsser)

And it’s not just American writing. Business writing is hard to read the world over.

But the solution isn’t hard to find.

Plain English can make your writing simpler, easier to read, and more enjoyable to write.

You’ll find 30 practical writing tips in this workbook that you can use to make your own writing plainer, simpler and more enjoyable.

There are six short, related sections, each with 5 practical writing tips. You’ll cover how to:

  • Sound more human
  • Sound like yourself
  • Apply the KISS principle
  • Cut the waste in your words
  • Get clear on your point
  • Improve the look of your page

I’ve compiled 30 of the most practical tips into a downloadable workbook.  It’s easy to print (17 pages) or read on the screen.

The workbook costs $10 - click the button below to purchase securely through paypal (or credit card, if you don’t have a paypal account)

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Here are 2 of the tips so  you can get an idea of the style of the book:

Stop introducing yourself

We waste a lot of words at the beginning of our writing. “I thought it might be useful to explain…” “I’m writing to advise you that…”

Yes, courtesy, explanation and clarity are good. But don’t overdo it. Most people are happy for you to get to the point.

Let your words do the talking.

Don’t be too intense

We tend to throw in extra words to make our point more forcefully. Words like “really” “very” “totally” and “utterly”.

In fact they don’t add anything – and the clutter can reduce the power of your words.

See how many you can cut – and how much clearer and more powerful your writing is as a result.


The tips are based on my experience of business writing (over 20 years in various administrative and managerial positions) and more recent work as a writing coach, helping others write in a plainer, simpler and more effective style.

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Joanna Young, The Confident Writing Coach
Because our words count