Simple Words, Short Sentences

Use Simple Words, Short Sentences

For Copy That Works!

Unclear, overly long and complicated writing stops readers cold.  And you lose sales.  Here’s how to avoid this.

Simple Words Bring More Readers

By “simple” words, I refer to words whose meaning is universally understood.  I realize that, for some writers, status is a prolix thing, still I advise you to put your ego aside and write for clarity and understanding.  [You may now be excused for a moment to go look up “prolix”.)


Keep Average Sentence Length Short

Equally as important is the use of simple, straightforward sentences.  “Keep ‘em short and sweet and they’ll read the whole sheet.”  Very few folks like listening to a long-winded pompous prig; they sure won’t read long-winded pompous writing.

For your entertainment look at the following copy from my own work:

A Trip Through Desk Barn Makes You Feel Just Like A School Kid

Next time you’re in Desk Barn try this.  Walk through the store aisle by aisle.  We think you will find that, like many grown-ups, you are drawn to all the fun things we stock.  The neat pens, books and whiteboards… the fresh, crisp, clean pads… the frames and art tools… stands to show off your best work… a cool desk set and, of course, the snacks.

Make your work fun for a change.  The fun starts at Desk Barn.

The copy contains ninety-two words and eleven sentences.  Average sentence length is just 8⅓ words.  FYI, ellipses (…) count as sentence enders.   But here’s the shocker.  This copy consists entirely of one-syllable words.  Try it.  It’s not as easy as it sounds.

Take my advice and start thinking simply and concisely.  The readers of your website, advertisements and brochures will appreciate it.  And so will your sales curve.


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By Alan Tarr, The MoneyWords Copywriter

Author of The 7 Deadly Sins Of Marketing