Guide to Clear and Correct Style

CLEAR LANGUAGE

Why write a sentence if your audience misunderstands it? Lacking clarity, language fails to accomplish its basic intention: understanding, or shared meaning. Clarity is a creation, an accomplishment of considerate style. Yet the word clarity does not refer to anything in a sentence, but describes how readers feel about a sentence. When one says unclear, it means the reader has a hard time understanding; when one says it's dense, it means one struggles to read it. Therefore, writers need to know how to create clarity by choosing readable forms of language—sentences that readers experience as clear. This chapter explains how to create clarity in the following topics: