Address the “right people.”
Avoid Colloquialisms, or terms like: gonna, wanna, gotta, b/c, w/o, hanging out, kids, cops, crooks, tots, & (instead of the word “and”).
Don’t use contractions. (That was funny.)
Avoid abbrev. (That was really funny.)
Never make generalizations. (Now that was hilarious!)
Be careful of stating opinion as fact– “This company is the best” Do you mean that you think it’s the best?
Use statistics only if they are researched. “Everybody drives too fast.” Is it accurate to say everybody? “I’m 99% sure…”
Follow Guidelines for Gender-Fair Use of Language. Avoid exclusionary language. Choose inclusive alternatives – he/she, s/he, him/her, her/him, a person, people, firefighter, letter carrier, flight attendant, etc.
Why should you avoid asking yourself questions in your own formal writing?
WHEN WRITING, ASK:
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