Developing Flow

Many people have very interesting ideas and even manage to put them on paper. Unfortunately, their readership does not extend beyond a particular stage. This is because, though their writing is good and the thoughts were properly mentioned, there may not have been a proper selection of words, or maybe a proverb like − “nipping it in the bud” was used, which readers may not understand.

Let us discuss 15 things to remember while proof-reading and revising your writing −


●      Your writing must be understood at the first reading. Avoid technical jargon, unfamiliar words or formal language.

Formal vs. Modern

●      Payment has been duly noted vs. we received your check.

●      Attached hereto vs. please find Attached

Avoid Ambiguity

●      Words with double meaning or sentences that confuse readers should be avoided

●      Having eaten the fish, Kiran talked to Karan. (Who had the fish?)

Avoid Colloquialisms

●      In a nutshell vs. in short

●      In this day and age vs. today, presently

Avoid using many Words

●      Prior to the event vs. before

●      At this point in time vs. now

Avoid unnecessary Repetition

●      Absolutely essential

●      Combine together

Include only relevant information

●      Omit unnecessary background information.

●      Keep sentences short and simple – 17 words or less.


Check that all the information the reader will need is included −

●      Who? What? Where? When? Why? How?


Check accuracy of grammar and spelling of names of people and places.

●      He done it vs. he did it.

●      It’s color has faded vs. its color has faded.

Don’t Rely on Spell Check

●      Typing ‘no/on’, ‘then/than’, ‘quite/quiet’, ‘lose/loose’ will not show errors.


Give specific details.

●      Your investment plan will earn high interest.

●      Your investment plan will earn 8% interest.


Use language that is believable. Avoid exaggeration and superlatives.

●      Always vs. Usually

●      Never vs. Rarely


Display good manners in your writing. Use passive voice when communicating bad news to avoid negative overtones. For example,

●      We cannot agree to the terms and conditions outlined in the contract.

●      Some discussions regarding the terms and conditions need to be done.

Write with the reader in mind

●      Sexist – Chairman, businessman

●      Condescension – ‘Of course’, ‘Obviously’

Using Bullet Points

●      Communicates your message in an easy and clear manner.

●      Highlights the most important information.

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