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如何写好职业英语(1)

How to Make Your Articles More Reader Friendly

Lilian & Ashima

研究表明,人类的关注能力正在显著下降——人类集中注意某事的平均时间从2000年的12秒下降到2013年的8秒,这比金鱼的时间还少了1秒。这对写文章给人类看提出了一个新的挑战,如何让你的文章能够紧紧抓住读者的注意力?看这篇文章您也许会得到一些帮助。

很多人写英语,喜欢用华丽的辞藻,用英文说就是flowery language,但不知不觉地忘记了他或她写英文的初衷。Less is more这个原则在英文写作中也是很有用的。

建议您仔细地阅读这篇文章,如果有什么建议请及时告诉我们。我们设想您在读完这篇文章后,既能学习写作,又能学习英语,当然,如果您有英文编辑与润色的服务需求,也请联系我们(admin@competition.org.cn)。

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on”-Louis L’Amour

There is a writer inside each one of us. There are experiences that are just waiting to be told. If you begin writing considering what others might want to read, you’ll probably keep guessing. A writer is the first reader of his writings. If you don't think you would like to re-read your own piece, nobody would. Write what you would have wanted to read, keep it simple and crisp.

KEEPING IT SIMPLE

More often than not, once you put pen to paper thoughts begin to flow on their own and once your thoughts have caught the attention of your reader, half your job is done. Thereafter, keeping your reader engrossed won’t be a daunting task either.

The key to being reader friendly for both formal and informal pieces, is in being straightforward. If the reader doesn’t catch the drift of your article from the first few lines, chances are that he won't bother reading further.

In this digital age with easy access to information on the move, the real challenge is to ensure that the reader is not going to hop on to another article. Paucity of time is another major factor, which makes it difficult for people to spare time for a good read. Don’t we ourselves like to go for the articles that are informative, easy to follow and quick to read?

Speaking of ‘easy to follow’, English is a language that can be made as complex or as simple as one wants it to be. When non-native English speakers are trying to write in English they must not lose the essence of what they wish to convey in an attempt to write flowery language. If the reader has to turn to a dictionary more number of times than he can blink, the purpose of writing a reader friendly article is lost then and there. Use only those words and idioms, the usage of which is perfectly clear to you. It would also not be a bad option to refer to an English grammar book when in doubt.

SEPARATE HEADINGS

Having separate headings for each point goes a long way in making the article reader friendly. That way one can understand the entire article at one glance. Whether it be an official report, an email or any other such document, stating the details point-wise or heading wise would equip the reader in being able to comprehend the outline of the topic even before the ink is dry on the page.

CONCISE AND CLEAR

A reader’s interest in a topic is directly proportional to its length. If the study conducted by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, at the U.S. National Library of Medicine, is to be given credence to then, the average attention span of a human being has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8 seconds in 2013. This is one second less than the attention span of a goldfish. This clearly means, if the content of the article is complicated because of its innate nature, it needs to be conveyed tersely. Too much information is hard to process in one go. Complicated issues are the hardest to put across without making them sound trite, therefore, it must be borne in mind that the reader would like nothing better than to be explained everything in simple language bit by bit, so more energy can be focussed on grasping the core issue than the language itself.

Here’s hoping that while we preached about how you may connect better with your readers we did not forget to practice the same in our piece.

An old adage says, pen is mightier than the sword so let’s put to paper our thoughts and let them travel across mankind.

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