Michael Tigar’s 9 Tips for Brief Writing

Michael E. Tigar
Michael E. Tigar

The last post covered Steven Stark’s tips on writing a strong narrative. This one includes Michael E. Tigar’s more general tips on persuasive writing. Tigar, an attorney and Professor Emeritus at the Duke School of Law, authored a treatise with his wife entitled Federal Appeals: Jurisdiction and Practice (3d ed. 1999 West Group). Section 9.07 lists nine rules for persuasive writing. They are:

  •  outline the record and the transcript
  • omit needless words
  • speak directly to your audience as style and custom permit
  • talk about real people and not categories
  • avoid the passive voice
  • get rid of jargon
  • put away the sugar bowl, saccharin pills, and metaphor gun
  • replace adjectives and adverbs with accurate nouns and strong verbs
  • be accurate

Does anyone have anything to add? Any pet peeve to highlight? If so, you can reach me here.

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