Writing sentences is an essential task even after becoming a member of society. We deal with sentences every day in every aspect of business, such as planning documents and reports. Writing ability is often seen as one of the criteria in evaluating the abilities of working adults. No matter how good a business person may be, their writing can be detrimental to writing.
Also, there are many people who cannot write the text itself, or stop trying to write the text. Spending a limited amount of work on the trouble of not being able to write sentences also leads to a decrease in productivity.
The author states that in order to write easy-to-read and easy-to-understand sentences, one must acquire the skills to create short sentences that leave only the main points. Emphasize the message you want to convey and try to write sentences that are easy for others to understand. Of course, regardless of your talent or sense, if you understand and practice how to write, anyone can write.
If you can't write well, or if you can write but can't use good wording, then this book will give you a solution. All of the text in this book is a good example of "simple, easy-to-read text with the key points." By just touching each one of them, you will be able to effectively improve your writing skills from students to working people.
Main points of this book
Easy-to-read sentences are simple and short with only the main points. Those who write long and sluggish sentences will be able to write unnecessary sentences by appropriately cutting unnecessary information and words.
To write a simple sentence, you first need to organize what you want to write in your head. One of the reasons for not being able to write well is that "writing is not clear".
Writing habits and learning techniques will make writing fun.
I can't decide what to write
First, clarify what you want to convey
To write a sentence, you first need its contents. This seems like a matter of course. In fact, many people struggle with writing because they don't know what to write. The first condition for improving the quality of sentences is that the thinking is clear. Those who have a clear organization of what they should convey and what they want to convey will be able to write their thoughts well.
If you start writing a sentence with the vague idea of "I want to convey something like this", you will not understand what you are saying. The sentences that are easy to understand and convince include short and simple sentences. On the other hand, the texts of unorganized people tend to be tedious and redundant. Avoid writing vague thoughts before writing a sentence. If you neglect this, you will not be able to accurately verbalize what you want to say.
Use two axes
The best way to organize your thoughts is to set two axes and clarify your thoughts. The content of the axis is different for each person, but there is "what you want to convey" where the two axes intersect. For example, if you want to buy new clothes, you can set two axes, one for "shirts" and the other for "favorite brands," so that you can clarify what you want. Similarly, it's a good idea to put the elements of the text you should write on two axes. If it is a product development plan, cross the two items of "the product you are interested in" and "the customer's merit". Therefore, the products that emerged are included in the text of the presentation material. I would like to carry out these two-axis thinking on a daily basis.
For those who find it difficult to write a text because it is not specific by itself, let's set the two axes and then "collect the information to shape it". If you are a sales person, you can collect information by widening the frontage because you can do anything about aftercare of the products of other companies. It is also effective to set keywords and embody them. And as you become more familiar with what you want to convey, your thoughts will become clearer.
Still can't write
If you don't have the habit of writing in the first place, try practicing to write down all your thoughts because you only need one axis. Then, while writing, I get used to writing sentences. After that, there will be a stage where the thinking is clearly written on the two axes.
Then, let's refine what you wrote. At that time, "Do you say the same thing over and over?" "Is the flow from sentence to sentence smooth?" "Is unnecessary information included?" "Is the argument clear?" "Can you read smoothly and quickly?" Let's check the 5 points.
[Must read point!] If you know the type, you can shorten the sentence.
Each sentence is an element in principle
If you have a problem that you don't know how to start writing a sentence in the first place, knowing that a sentence has a pattern may be a shortcut. Similarly, for those who have lengthy sentences, knowing the type of sentence and the minimum rules should improve.
One of the causes of long sentences is that some sentences are included in one sentence. This may leave none of the information in the reader's mind. For example, a product is made up of several elements, but if you present them to the customer at once, the appeal will not be transmitted well. It is better to explain only one element and then move on to the next. Therefore, try to write only one element in a sentence. Being aware of this shortens sentences, which leads to readability.
In addition, 5W1H learned in English is an important type in Japanese sentences. It is said that the information to be communicated becomes clear when a sentence is created with consideration of “when”, “where”, “who”, “what”, “why” and “how”. You can easily communicate the situation and content.
Ease of communication changes in order
When writing a sentence, it's easier to communicate by starting by showing the reader what you want them to do. In the business scene, it is better to assemble the text so that the conclusion that is the most important information comes first. Even if the content you want to convey is clear, if you make a mistake in the order in which you give the information, you will not be able to move the other party as you wish. A sentence that is hard to come to a conclusion is tired to read and hard to understand.
Therefore, when writing a sentence, try to write what you want to convey. After that, continue the sentence supplementing the explanation.
Although there is a word called Kisetsu-Kai-Yu, it is better to take a slightly different method from this in the business scene. That is, starting from the conclusion, the background of the story, etc. continues, and the conclusion is stated again. While receiving the story and developing, the conclusion is further emphasized. English sentences are often structured like this. It's easy to understand the content because the conclusion is often asked.
Tips for cutting useless words
Know the point of sharpening
Many people want to keep their writing clean, but can't tell what's wasted. Some people are concerned that less words may make it harder to understand due to lack of information. However, a sentence usually contains useless words. If you can figure out where to cut, you will be able to write short, high-quality sentences that highlight only the main points.
If you are unfamiliar with writing, you may insert unnecessary words without realizing it. I am afraid to avoid making assertions, and my spoken language is out of control. Let's re-read the written text and think "Is this word really necessary?" Typical examples of unnecessary words are "to", "to whether", and "to". If you read it back, you'll find words that make sense even if you don't.
Let's break all
Even if the sentence itself can be shortened, too many sentences will still give a sloppy impression. Isn't it safe to delete the whole sentence?
Before re-reading the sentence, let's try to break all lines based on the punctuation. By doing so, it is possible to find sentences that are not connected with each other or have overlapping contents. By eliminating such waste, the sentences will be more easily understood.
Change expression to shorten
From spoken language to written language
There are two types of sentence expressions, colloquial and literary. The colloquial language is used in conversation to give a soft expression, and the written language conveys a thought to create a hard atmosphere. Since everyday communication uses plain expressions, it is often spoken in sentences. It's a common practice on SNS. On the other hand, there is a tendency for smart expressions to be preferred in the business scene, so there is no loss in knowing techniques for shortening sentences using linguistics.
The trick is to think about how to rephrase the words you would use for your colleagues when you use them for the president. For example, you can find parts that can be modified into unexpected words, such as "a little" to "a little" and "a fairly large number of people" to "a huge number of people."
Negative sentences become positive sentences
Negative sentences tend to be long. If a negative sentence, such as denial, prohibition, or refusal, is used as an affirmative sentence, the content will be easier to understand. For example, it is possible to reduce the number of characters by saying "I will participate when the meeting is over" rather than saying "I cannot attend until the meeting is over". On top of that, the point is clear. The impression that the other person based on the affirmative sentence will improve.
There are rhythms in easy-to-understand sentences. The basics of Japanese rhythm are the five-seventh and the seven-fiveth tone, and if you divide them by the number of words, the tempo will be good and the sentence will be easier to understand. Considering the culture of waka, tanka, and haiku, the reason is obvious. It should be noted that the fifth and seventh tones give a strong impression, and the seventh and fifth tones give a gentle atmosphere.
Eliminate "textualization of meaning"
Use vocabulary to cut words
Those who know a lot of words and can use them well can shorten sentences. For example, "Umochi" means to act proudly with confidence and pride. If you don't know this word, you'll have to document it all, like "behavior with confidence and pride." There is a big difference in writing ability depending on whether you know the words or not. Acquiring vocabulary has the merit of "being able to accurately express the thoughts in my head" and "being able to express business documents such as proposals as a working person".
We are determined as members of society by our level of vocabulary. The smart words are used to judge smartness. It is a waste of your ability to be evaluated even if you have the ability to speak vocabulary, so it is a good idea to acquire knowledge of idioms. It is also effective to familiarize yourself with a thesaurus.
Priority on the number of characters!
Recently, words derived from English are often used in the business scene. Using English phrases has the advantage of shortening sentences. Risuke, which is an abbreviation for Reschedule, can be shorter than writing “change the schedule”.
However, it is not always good to use English. For example, replacing “flexible” with “flexible” and “milestone” with “sign” can make the text look cleaner. English makes you look cool and clever, but when you use it in sentences, it is often long. Although it may have a sophisticated feel to the mouth, in terms of text, the number of characters should be prioritized over the feel.
Summarization makes it easier to write short sentences
The power to reconstruct sentences
The best way to improve your ability to shorten sentences is to improve your ability to summarize. The summary gives you the power to remove unnecessary information and identify important things by shortening the main points of sentences and stories. If you re-read the text you wrote and check the points, you can reconstruct it and shorten it.
By training to improve your ability to summarize, you will be able to read the sentences correctly and shorten long sentences. At the same time, acquire logical and reading skills.
This summarizing ability is not limited to sentences, but can also improve the quality of conversation. In business, it is required to communicate in a short and easy-to-understand manner in order to respect the other person's time. Communication time can be shortened by increasing the power of summarization. It is also a good manner for a member of society to speak in a way that the other person can understand immediately when explaining, proposing, or consulting.
Copy the texts of others and read them aloud
If you are having trouble writing a sentence, try copying the person's sentence. After reading and copying a new book, if you can afford it, try reading aloud. You can improve your writing skills while having fun with any book you like or the book of the author. By transcribing and reading aloud, you can learn the rhythm of the sentence and learn how to write it. Also, since there are several structural patterns in the new book, it is also useful to remember the structure.
By creating a habit of touching sentences and acquiring techniques in this way, writing will become fun.
Recommendation of reading
Writing sentences in the business scene is an unavoidable task. However, there are probably many people who were really bad at writing since I was a student. This book is written with specific examples of tips for writing sentences in business and how to summarize the points that can be used for presentations. It will give me a lot of awareness that "I should have used this phrase."