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Technical Writing

Technical writing Q&A with workshop expert Julia Bluff.

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Should you write to a 5th Grade level?

I've heard that you should write at a Grade 5 level. Is that good advice?

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Good question, Shaun. In my experience, it's actually really difficult to write to a fifth grade level. When it comes to technical writing, our sentences are naturally a little more complex. I'd say that you should shoot for about a 9th-grade level—but it all depends on audience, and their unique needs. As a writer, though, I'm much more concerned about drastically over-complicating my writing than I am over-simplifying my writing. Technical writing is notoriously hard to read—and that's the bigger pitfall.

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Author avatar Shaun will be eternally grateful.