My Notes on The Book “On Writing Well’ by William Zinsser

I read “On Writing Well’ by William Zinsser. Highly recommended, if you want to improve your writing in general or copywriting for your website.

Here are my key takeaways: 

  1. Try to achieve clarity by stripping every sentence to its cleanest components. For example, replace long words with short ones. Use ‘now’ instead of ‘currently’, ‘help’ instead of ‘assistance’, ‘do’ instead of ‘implement’.
  2. Avoid clutter that weakens a sentence: “a bit”, “sort of”, “in a sense”, “kind of”, “very”.
  3. Don't say things, you wouldn’t say in conversation: Words like “Indeed”, or “Moreover”. Also, use “that” instead of “which”, unless it makes your meaning ambiguous.
  4. Read aloud before you share.
  5. Storytelling is the best method to convey information.
  6. Don't be afraid to break a long sentence into two.
  7. Start a sentence with “but” instead of “however”, “thus” or “therefore”. It makes the sentence easier for the reader to process it.
  8. Often a difficult problem in a sentence can be solved by simply getting rid of it.
  9. Writing is visual, it catches the eye before it catches the brain. Make your text look inviting by keeping paragraphs short.