Writing Tips from George Orwell

English novelist and journalist George Orwell, one of the finer writers in the English language through such novels as 1984 and Animal Farm, was passionate about good writing. Hence, copywriters — for both print and websites — can learn a lot from him.

Reportedly, in every sentence he wrote, he asked himself at least four questions:

  1. What am I trying to say?
  2. What words will express it?
  3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
  4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?

Plus, he had fundamental rules for effective writing, which decades later, still apply:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of speech, which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never us a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.

One response to “Writing Tips from George Orwell”

  1. Gill says:

    George Orwell, even after all these years, still has influence on writers, even on websites. That’s cool!

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