1. Be a storyteller!
2. Employ concrete nouns and vivid verbs: be as precise as you can to help your reader visualise the actions and relationships you’re considering, especially when discussing abstract concepts.
3. Employ figurative language to capture your readers’ attention and appeal to their physical senses.
4. Vary syntax to avoid repetitive structures; you might not be a poet but you can still play with rhythm.
5. Vary sentence length to build momentum.
6. Use parallel structures and repeat sentence patterns.
7. Keep nouns and verbs close together, so that readers can pin actions to actors.
8. Avoid clutter and extraneous words or phrases—stylish writing needn’t be ornate or fussy.
9. “Show and tell”—don’t simply illustrate, but be direct with your claims about the text.
10. Be confident and curious—try new things, search for new words, be inspired by the writers you are reading.
This article is available to download for free as a PDF for use as a personal learning tool or for use in the classroom as a teaching resource.