Almost every reader will vote for clarity over style, so if you can get the former right, your writing is already decent. However, giving your work some amount of grace and elegance is one of the best ways to get readers to pay attention.
Here are a few ways to do that:
- Place key words and phrases towards the end of sentences, making sure they create maximum impact.
- Use punctuation to force pauses and build emphasis. Go beyond sentence terminators, incorporating dashes, colons, semicolons and ellipses into your sentences.
- Vary your sentence structures to give your paragraphs a more vibrant energy, as well as to give due emphasis to important ideas.
- Use sentence fragments as sentence for added emphasis. It also helps foster a more conversational style.
- Use all four rhetorical sentence types: loose, periodic, balanced and antithetical, being careful not to use one in succession too many times.
- Use short, impactful sentences when relaying important information.
- Use repetition when it aids rhythm.
As we’ve said before, it’s important to strive for clarity before even considering style. Fortunately, most comprehensive writing software can do a healthy heaping of the load when it comes to making your work clearer and easier to read.