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Chapter 3. Writing Style

Chapter 3. Writing Style

If content is what you communicate, then style is how you communicate. Writing style is determined by all the decisions that you make while creating a document, such as the type and tone of information you present, choice of words, language and format consistency, use of technical terms, and so forth. In the literary world, style is judged in part on artistic grounds, which might be highly subjective. In the field of technical documentation, however, experience and practice have provided objective criteria for evaluating style.

This chapter presents some guidelines for writing effectively. It discusses the following topics:

  • “Why Is Style Important?” on page 63

  • “Stylistic Principles” on page 64

  • “Some Basic Elements of Style” on page 64

  • “Writing for the Reader” on page 71

  • “Style That Could Offend the Reader” on page 74

  • “Common Writing Problems to Avoid” on page 77

  • “Ways to Improve Your Style ” on page 79


  

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