Whenever you write anything, you have a desired message to communicate to a desired audience, whether it’s writing an ad to persuade a customer to buy your product or writing a recipe so that others can make and enjoy your best dish.
Your goal, then, is to inform your audience, not to impress them. What does it matter if they love the words you use but don’t act on the message those words are intended to convey? That’s all you want–to get your message across as clearly and persuasively as possible. Anything that hinders your goal should be eliminated. Thus, you should just say no to the following three enemies of clear and direct writing.
1. Just Say No to Metadiscourse
Metadiscourse is writing about writing and is almost always extraneous and unnecessary. Examples of metadiscourse would be: “to sum up,” “candidly,” “I believe,” “note that,” “it has become clear,” and “I would like to point out.”
An example of a sentence rife with metadiscourse: