Quick Tip:
Are Your Sentences Too Long? Take the "Breath Test"

Here's a tip from Bob Bly's Direct Response Letter (www.bly.com):

The "Breath Test" can determine whether your sentences are too wordy. Without inhaling, read the sentence aloud. If you run out of breath before you get to the end, the sentence is too long.

The solution: Use a dash (–) or ellipses (…) to break the sentence into two or more parts. Or rewrite it as two or more shorter sentences. Doing so will make your writing livelier, more conversational – and easier to read.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: October 21, 2002

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