NCO Primary Leadership Subjects
Organizing Your Thoughts, Continued
College graduates may grasp difficult writing easier than high school graduates.
However, even if your audience is made up of college graduates, that is no excuse to
make writing difficult. To be interesting and hold the reader's attention, writing
should be aimed at a general audience. For example, articles appearing in national
weekly news magazines are normally written to a high school reading level.
Keep your writing interesting, brief, and clear by following the ten rules for Army
Rules for Army
correspondence discussed in Lesson 3:
Put the main point up front.
Put your "bottom line" up front so the
reader will see key information first.
Write in the active voice.
Show who or what does the action.
Use short words.
Try to use no more than 15 percent
over two syllables long.
Keep sentences short.
Keep sentences to an average of 15
words. Using the active voice will
Write short paragraphs.
With few exceptions, paragraphs
should not exceed six lines
(approximately one inch depth).
Use common terms. The reader
shouldn't have to look up your words
in a dictionary or glossary.
spelling, Keep your dictionary handy when
you write. Proofread your work.
Use personal pronouns.
Make your writing direct and
informal by using personal pronouns
as sentence subjects.
Use one page
most Write short papers to keep your
Avoid sentences that begin Avoid expletive construction to keep
with "It is," "There is," sentences from being wordy and
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