At MarketMuse we aim to make our writing accessible to anyone with a high school education. That means you should consider the complexity of your sentence and vocabulary as you write. Here are some examples.

We use for readability analysis plus checking for clarity, spelling and grammar issues. You can test the readability of your writing with an online readability tool like the Hemingway App.


  • Write for all readers. Some people will read every word you write. Others will just skim. Help everyone read better by grouping related ideas together and using descriptive headers and subheaders.
  • Focus your message. Create a hierarchy of information. Lead with the main point or the most important content, in sentences, paragraphs, sections, and pages.
  • Be concise. Use short words and sentences. Avoid unnecessary modifiers.
  • Be specific. Avoid vague language. Cut the fluff.
  • Be consistent. Stick to the copy patterns and style points outlined in this guide.

Abbreviations, Acronyms, and Jargon

Avoid using acronyms and jargon where possible as they often only make sense to experts. If there’s a chance your reader won’t recognize an abbreviation or acronym, spell it out the first time you mention it. Then use the short version for all other references. If the abbreviation isn’t clearly related to the full version, specify in parentheses.

  • First use: Network Operations Center
  • Second use: NOC
  • First use: Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
  • Second use: UTC

If the abbreviation or acronym is well known, like API or HTML, use it instead (and don’t worry about spelling it out).

Active Voice

Use active voice. Avoid passive voice.

In active voice, the subject of the sentence does the action. In passive voice, the subject of the sentence has the action done to it.

Words like “was” and “by” may indicate that you’re writing in passive voice. Scan for these words and rework sentences where they appear.

One exception is when you want to specifically emphasize the action over the subject. In some cases, this is fine.