Writing and editing better documents

Good writing is a very important quality in a consultant, especially one who writes definitions and other text meant to endure.  So I have been taking steps to finesse my ability to write effective documents in correct English.

Most useful has been The Pyramid Principle, a method adopted by various big consulting firms, also available as a library book.  It’s teaching me to put my important points up front, and to introduce my text with a statement the reader can agree with.

In November I went to the Eight-Step Editing course.  It was fun to be in a room full of people who cared about punctuation.  The course taught very good techniques for clarifying sentences, and it touched upon paragraph structure.  We discussed adaptation for the audience and environment, such as tolerating the passive voice in government, and using big words in academia.

For large-scale editing of a document’s purpose, organization and substance, the Pyramid Principle is much more relevant than the editing course.