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Two 4S Models: Ideal for Writing to a General Audience

Our brains love quick and memorable models that impart deeper concepts. When writing for a general audience, consider the 4S model. In fact, consider two different 4S models:

For concise writing:

Short: Use short sentences and paragraphs to make your writing more digestible for readers. Long and complex sentences can confuse or bore your audience.

Simple: Use simple language that is easy to understand. Avoid using technical jargon or industry-specific terminology that may be unfamiliar to your audience.

Strong: Use strong, active verbs to make your writing more engaging and dynamic. Passive language can appear dull or uninteresting.

Scannable: Use formatting techniques like bullet points, bold or italicised text, and subheadings to make your writing more scannable. This helps readers to quickly identify key information and skim through your writing to find what they need.

For concise writing to a general audience:

Short Words: Using short, simple words can make your writing easier to understand for a wider range of readers. As Orwell argued, why use a long word when a short one will do. This is especially important if you are writing for a general audience. Short words are also more concise and help to keep your writing focused and to the point.

Short Sentences: Short sentences can help to break up complex ideas into more manageable pieces. They are also easier to understand and can help to prevent confusion or misunderstanding, while helping to hold your readers' attention.

Short Paragraphs: Short paragraphs make your writing easier to read and digest. They give your readers a visual break from a long block of text and help to make your writing look more inviting and accessible. Short paragraphs also help to emphasise important points and make them more memorable.

Short Sections: Breaking up your writing into short sections helps to make your content more scannable and easier to navigate. This allows readers to quickly find the information they need and can help to keep them engaged with your writing. Short sections also make your content more visually appealing and can help to create a sense of flow and progression.

That’s it! Enjoy.

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