Putting It Together: Readability

Women in a discussion in a board room

Now that you have learned to recognize and resolve readability errors, develop a strategy for incorporating these skills into your writing process.

Below are some guidelines for doing so:

  1. Revise for readability in the later stages of your writing process. In the early stages of writing, focus on your ideas.
  2. Leave time between drafting and revising for readability. Readability errors become more evident after you have stepped away from a project for a while and return to it later.
  3. Make proofreading/editing a vital part of your writing process.

The following are some tips for effective proofreading:

effective proofreading TIPs

  • Find a quiet place, free from distractions.
  • Print a hard copy of the paper.
  • Read the paper out loud.
  • Read the paper backward, sentence by sentence.
  • Enlist help.

Remember, writers and their readers are in a relationship. Writers want to convey their ideas, and readers want to understand those ideas. Anything that hinders that understanding is annoying to the reader and damaging to the writer’s credibility. That’s why it’s important for writers to identify and fix any errors that interfere with readers’ expectations and process.