© 2010 Ugur Akinci
Technical writing is consistent writing, whether you’re writing a software or marketing specs.
Your sentences need to be consistent in
If you end your sentences with the same mood, voice and tense that you start them with, the battle is already won. [Which rule did this sentence violate already?]
Technique 1) Write with a consistent VOICE
If you start with active voice, end with active voice; or vice versa.
EXAMPLE: “I’d like to complain [ACTIVE] but I’m not allowed [PASSIVE] to criticize the Board.”
BETTER: “I’d like to complain [ACTIVE] but the club rules don’t allow [ACTIVE] me to criticize the Board.”
Technique 2) Write in a consistent MOOD
Stick to the same mood from one clause to another, or start a new sentence.
EXAMPLE: “Work hard [IMPERATIVE] and that’s how you’ll become successful [INDICATIVE].”
BETTER 1: “Work hard [IMPERATIVE] and achieve success [IMPERATIVE].”
BETTER 2: “Work hard [IMPERATIVE]. That’s the formula for success [INDICATIVE in a new sentence].”