The cover of Do I Make Myself Clear?

Do I Make Myself Clear?

Why Writing Well Matters

by Harold Evans

A great book on the responsibility writers have to write clearly. Harold Evans presents a strong case for the harm that poor writing causes, along with the joy that concise writing affects (yes! Affects. Not effects. Evans would be proud).

Better yet, Evans gives the reader a toolkit for writing clearly. Bullet-pointed rules and long dictionaries of words to avoid make this book something I’ll refer to often.

If I have one takeaway, though, it’s the power of “muscular” writing. Not hedging, or hiding behind endless adverb phrases and independent clauses. Muscular writing has two results: one, the obvious one, is that your writing becomes more memorable. The less obvious result is that you’re forced to justify your positions. Clearing away the cruft of poor writing lays bare the underlying material. If it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, you must revise or remove.