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Rudolf Flesch’s Contribution to the Art of Writing

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  • Category: Writers

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Rudolf Flesch contributed greatly to the English language through his study of what makes our writing easy to comprehend and quick to read as it is interesting. His writings are well organized and expertly done to the average reader or listener. Although he did not equate the plainness of “plain talk” with a limited vocabulary nor with brevity, his writings are clear, vigorous, and plain; his style is direct and energizing.

            Leaving out the word “that” means no conjunctions, no prepositions – it is all noun and verb – and  none of such word which writers use to connect one idea to the next. This  is also a good way to slim down fat and flabby sentences. Using brief and clear sentences simply means being specific. This will make one’s writing plainer and the meaning of the paper more understood. Although shorter is better, oftentimes, it’s not the sentence length that confuses readers, it is the sentence’s complexity. In limiting each paragraph to one idea,  readers will quickly and efficiently grasp the message. Short paragraph which covered only one idea is easier to read. In using language the reader understands, one should keep the audience’s vocabulary in mind as he or she writes. Use concrete language rather than abstract or vague rhetoric. The use of pronouns like `I“we,“they,`and `you` affects the tone of writing. It is not indecent to use first person pronouns while the use of second-person pronouns relate connectivity with your reader.

To sum up, Flesch instilled an awareness of the importance of clarity in writing, along with excellent advice about how to achieve it thus making writing more of an art.


Flesch, R. (1948). The Art of Readable Writing. NY: Harper & Brothers.

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