Stylish writing gets your readers’ attention.
One of the hallmarks of stylish writing is consistency:
fonts headings spacings
spelling of specialised terms abbreviations
format of tables and captions …
How can you achieve this?
Use your wordprocessing software to set up
paragraph and line spacings
formatting of lists
tables of contents, tables, figures
cross-referencing, footnote, endnotes …
Set up a style sheet
spelling and abbreviation of specialised terms
how your organisation’s name will be written and abbreviated
date and time format
position of tables and figures, and their captions
measurements (65 kg or 65kg)
everything that you (or other writers in you organisation) need to remember to achieve consistency across all documents.
- Make – and record – style decisions once, rather than having to stop and think or check every time.
You can easily record any changes as you write, then go back and make the changes in the document.
- When more than one writer contributes to a document, or when similar documents are written in your organisation everyone knows what is expected.
- The writing processes are more efficient, particularly when ‘writing the report’ is the least liked aspect of a technical business’s activities.
Your readers will appreciate the consistency.
They won’t be confused trying to work out if a term spelled one way means the same as a similarly spelt word in a different part of the document.
Your professionalism and credibility are built on consistency.
Take the time to develop your style sheet and set up your wordprocessing styles.
Your writing process will be simplified.
Your readers will note your stylish writing.
Do you use a style sheet and format your documents using the ‘styles’ function?