For many years I have used mathematics as a hobby for intellectual stimulation and as something I was not very good at while in school, I find it a challenge. It came as something of a surprise that I found what has become for me the simplest of tip sheets for writing. Professor Higham’s list of tips is also proof that mathematicians have a sense of humour and are not square..
The full list of tips is available by clicking on the link above, but some of them are so good they deserve a more detailed consideration.
“1. Every sentence should make sense in isolation. Like that one.”
This seems blindingly obvious; however, you will find that writers do not follow this simple rule. I must confess I am one of them, as my thoughts race along faster than my typing speed and the result becomes “run on sentences”. These are overly long sentences that do not have a proper structure and do not contribute to making my point. If you’re not sure about a sentence that you have written, my basic rule is to split it into two sentences and see how that reads.
“6. A writer needs three qualities: creativity, originality, clarity and a good short term memory”