European Commission staff have to write many different types of documents. Whatever the type - legislation, a technical report, minutes, a press release or speech - a clear document will be more effective, and more easily and quickly understood. This guide will help you to write clearly whether you are using your own language or one of the other official languages, all of which are also working languages of the Commission.
These are hints, not rules, and when applying them you should take account of your target readers and the purpose of your document.
Three good reasons to write clearly are: • to work more effectively together • to reduce unnecessary correspondence • to build goodwill
Hint 1: Think before you write..... page 3 Hint 2: Focus on the reader - be direct and interesting......page 4 Hint 3: Get your document into shape ....... page 5 Hint 4: KISS: Keep It Short and Simple ........ page 6 Hint 5: Make sense - structure your sentences ...... page 7 Hint 6: Cut out excess nouns - verb forms are livelier ......page 8 Hint 7: Be concrete, not abstract........ page 9 Hint 8: Prefer active verbs to passive - and name the agent .......page 10 Hint 9: Beware of false friends, jargon and abbreviations........ page 11 Hint 10: Revise and check.......page 14 Online EU drafting aids ........page 15