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How to Write Clearly

Rules and Exercises on English Composition

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Author: Edwin A. Abbott
Published: 1883
Language: English
Wordcount: 35,007 / 123 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 74.3
LoC Category: P
Downloads: 14,693
Added to site: 2007.09.15 18215

Almost every English boy can be taught to write clearly, so far at least as clearness depends upon the arrangement of words. Force, elegance, and variety of style are more difficult to teach, and far more difficult to learn; but clear writing can be reduced to rules. To teach the art of writing clearly is the main object of these Rules and Exercises.

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he Relative.

50. A statement may sometimes be briefly implied instead of being expressed at length.

51. Conjunctions may be omitted. Adverbs, e.g. "very," "so." Exaggerated epithets, e.g. "incalculable," "unprecedented."

51 a. The imperative may be used for "if &c."

52. Apposition may be used, so as to convert two sentences into one.

53. Condensation may be effected by not repeating (1) the common Subject of several Verbs; (2) the common Object of several Verbs or Prepositions.

54. Tautology. Repeating what may be implied.

55. Parenthesis maybe used with advantage to brevity. See 26.

56. Brevity often clashes with clearness. Let clearness be the first consideration.


Numbers in brackets refer to the Rules.


*1. Use words in their proper sense.*

Write, not "His apparent guilt justified his friends in disowning him," but "his evident

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Average Rating of 5 from 1 reviews: *****

very much interesting



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