7 deadly writing sins #writinglegally

Posted on 08-19-2015 by
Tags: writinglegally , legal writing , Upgrading Your Skills , #writinglegally

Bad writing can be turned into good writing with this piece of advice – avoid the ‘7 Deadly Writing Sins’. What are these sins? I’m glad you asked and so is Hamilton. According to Hamilton, here are the 7 deadly writing sins:

1.  Passive Voice

Avoid using passive voice. Sentences that are written in passive voice are often unclear and wordy sentences. On the flipside, sentences that use active voice produce generally clearer more concise sentences. Examples >>

 

2.  Incorrect Punctuation of Two Independent Clauses

Punctuation of a sentence is crucial as it could change its’ meaning completely. Many writers tend to combine independent clauses in a single compound sentence in order to emphasize the relationship between the clauses. Examples >>

 

3. Wordiness

Be clear so your readers understand what is being said. Wordiness can obscure your thoughts and ideas and will frustrate your readers. Get straight to the point and be clear about it. This will make your work crisper and easier to read. Examples >>

 

4.  Misuse of the Apostrophe

There are two main reasons for the use of the apostrophe:

  • Use the apostrophe to indicate possession
  • Mark omitted letters in contractions.

Writers often misuse it when using plurals and possessives. Remember: use the apostrophe to indicate possession, not a plural. Examples >>

 

5. Misplaced and Dangling Modifiers

Misplaced and dangling modifiers often create illogical sentences. Remember to place modifiers next to the words they modify. Examples >>

 

6. Pronoun Problems

Pronouns can come in handy when replacing a noun, but if you choose pronouns poorly, you can obscure the meaning of a sentence. Common errors include unclear pronoun reference, vague subject pronoun and agreement. Examples >>

 

7.  Committing Pet Peeves

If you write clearly you will become a more effective writer. Avoid committing these professors’ pet peeves. Examples >>

 

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Think your legal writing’s good? Imagine it being better. Your success depends on your writing. Writing tips to help you sharpen your legal communications. For a no-obligation free trial of Lexis® for Microsoft Office, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/microsoftoffice_lextalk

 

Comments


maureenoconnellscholastic
maureenoconnellscholastic
Posted on : 20 Aug 2015 7:47 AM

Great tips Chad Troyan. Thanks for sharing!

KKeenan
KKeenan
Posted on : 25 Aug 2015 7:11 PM

Thanks for sharing. I am definitely guilty of doing a few of these from time to time.

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