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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Business Writing: Do Your Readers Want the Dish or the Recipe? | Lynn Gaetner-Johnson,

"If my communication were a restaurant menu, I need to present the name of the dish, not the recipe."
That's a comment by a student of Gaertner-Johnson in one of her business-writing classes. She likes his description because it doesn't stress the number of words or the length of sentences. Instead, it stresses meeting the needs of readers.

She writes:
When you are working to write more concisely, imagine your readers reviewing your "menu." What are they looking for? Just the names of the dishes? The ingredients or other details? The prices?
Or do they really need the complete recipe?
That's a tasty metaphor for usable writing that readers will eat up! 

For more advice on clear, concise writing, check out Garbl's Fat-Free Writing Links. It's an annotated directory of websites that give advice on cutting the fat from your writing--so your readers can easily chew, digest and be nourished by your top-choice words.

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