Should You Write in Full Sentences or Fragments?

Do you get this

Do you get this “fragment” prompt?

When I run my work through Spell Check, I’m often stopped by the phrase “Fragment (consider revising.)” Does this happen to you?

While Spell Check helps me find spelling and spacing errors, it doesn’t really know about conversational writing style. Writing for blogs, the web, or social media is different than writing novels or papers. You MUST use sentence fragments.

Yes, use fragments

People don’t speak in full, formal sentences. They speak in fragments. And the point of engaging an audience is to stimulate a “conversation.” I’m sure you’ve heard people say, “Let’s open a conversation on that point.” Long, formal sentences will immediately turn off your audience, and you may come across as haughty or unapproachable.

When writing for the web, blog or social media, write as if you are speaking directly to your client, prospect or friend. Keep your writing professional, yet let the tone be conversational. Write like you speak.

Don’t forget the visual appeal

Writing for these formats also needs to be visually appealing. Again, a case for short sentences. Nobody wants to read long paragraphs; they don’t have the time or the interest. Write in short paragraphs punctuated by headings, subheadings and bullets (great for SEO). Let the readers scan through your message to find the points that interest them. If they are interested, they’ll go back and read more, or they’ll request further information.

Save your more formal and detailed writing for manuals and white papers. These are excellent pieces that can be offered to those who want and need more information, and they can be used as incentive or giveaway items.

Any questions?

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