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Clarity is Key: Making Writing Clean and Concise

About This Course

Great content isn’t great if readers don’t understand it or abandon it because the writing is too complicated or verbose. Even when – especially when – it’s about complicated issues, news writing needs to be clear and easily understood. Writing often gets muddled, and sources aren’t always concise. Whether you’re an editor or editing your own writing, this Webinar will help you cut through clutter and let the content shine.

What Will I Learn?

  • How to get rid of redundancies
  • To condense prepositional phrases into single modifiers
  • How to use stronger verbs and nouns
  • How to make complicated sentences clearer
  • How to ensure that your writing flows smoothly

Who Should Take This Course?

Reporters, authors, editors, freelance writers, bloggers and anyone looking to refine their writing.

Course Instructor

Lisa McLendon

Lisa McLendon

Lisa McLendon runs the Bremner Editing Center at the University of Kansas journalism school, where she also teaches editing and grammar. She has previously worked as a copy editor and book reviewer at the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle and as a copy editor, designer and desk chief at the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle. She began her journalism career in 2000 after earning a doctorate in Slavic linguistics from the University of Texas.

She is the presenter of the Poynter NewsU Webinar Clarity is Key: Making Writing Clean and Concise and one of the instructors in the Poynter NewsU course Fundamentals of Editing.

Training Partner

ACES: The Society for Editing

ACES: The Society for Editing is a nonprofit education and membership organization working toward the advancement of copy editors. Its aim is to provide solutions to editing problems, training and a place to discuss common issues.

The organization is an international members' alliance of editors working at newspapers, magazines, websites, traditional media outlets and Fortune 500 companies, as well as freelance editors, students and professors. It is an organization built on the advocacy of editing as a craft vital to clear writing and reader advocacy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What web browser should I use?

The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox or Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.

See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.