How to improve the clarity of your writing
EXPRESSING YOURSELF CLEARLY. Always try to write concisely, simply and clearly. Accept that you can always improve the clarity of your writing. If you are not sure about the use of certain standard grammatical forms, refer to a useful set of short information sheets produced by the Student Learning Centre.
It is vital to proof read your research paper or dissertation, and it can be helpful to ask a friend to read through your final draft for grammar, spelling and punctuation inaccuracies. There is considerable focus at all levels of education on what are called core transferable skills. These are those skills which can be learned in one context and readily be transferred to another context. The ability to express yourself clearly and succinctly in writing is a good example of such a skill. You will already have writing skills, but they can almost certainly be improved and developed.
Here are some writing hints, which you may find obvious, but assessors frequently complain that they are not observed:
• Write in complete sentences.
• Do not write very long sentences; the meaning can get obscured. A good guide is not to exceed twenty words in any sentence. Keep one idea per sentence.
• Use punctuation effectively; punctuation consists of more than full stops and commas!
• Use paragraphs effectively; a new paragraph signals a new idea or area of discussion.
• Pay due attention to spelling and grammar.
Research papers and dissertations must be word processed, but remember to keep backups. Learn how to word process and to present your work in an attractive and professional manner. How you present your work sends out strong signals about how much you value your work.