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41 Association of the United States Navy OFFICER AFFAIRS A s a staff officer you will be called upon to dra different types of documents to include executive memos, policy changes, articles and even social media tweets. Writing concisely allows you to effectively inform the audience, increasing the odds they read your entire document, and not just the first paragraph. You can accomplish this by remembering to write, read and edit. WRITE Know your audience. Provide them the informa- tion needed to take an action, or reach a decision. As the draer or subject matter expert, you will know more information about the topic than your audience requires. Focus on what they need to know and avoid sidebars that aren't essential to the conversation. Strong opening and closing paragraphs are important to informing the reader and should be relevant, organized and on point. Avoid long lead-ins, redundant sentences, and use fewer words whenever possible. Reduce descriptors and unnecessary words. Keep it simple! READ When you read your first dra, take a layman's point of view. Did you clearly understand the purpose? Did you feel compelled to take action or understand the impor- tance of the topic? If so, could you have said it with fewer words? During the reading phase, ensure your sentences are complete and that there is a smooth flow. EDIT Regardless of your rank or grade, always produce quality work that could be placed on the four-star's desk without further edits. You accomplish this through the editing and rewrite process. e content of your writing is only half of the work. You will need several rounds of edits with some time in between. Take care not to over edit and remove too much information. Always have someone else review your work before you submit it. As the originator, you may have assumed the reader knew more or less about the topic than they actually do. Having another person review your work will provide a different perspective and help catch common mistakes in spelling and grammar. ere are many articles online on how to write concisely, but nothing will take the place of practice and experience. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and always put forth your best effort. Kimberly A. Brubeck is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve and is AUSN's national vice president for Officer Affairs. COURTESY KIMBERLY A. BRUBECK; PIXABAY Getting to the Point: Succinct Writing By CDR Kimberly A. Brubeck QUICK TIPS The following are some of the tips the IEEE Professional Communications Society recommends on their website to help you write clearly and concisely: ❑ Choose your words deliberately. ❑ Use simple alternatives to elaborate words. ❑ Replace vague words with specific ones. ❑ Eliminate unnecessary words, excessive detail. ❑ Replace multiple negatives with affirmatives. ❑ Pay attention to sentence length.

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