You can double the power of your business communications simply by stating your primary message earlier.

When business writing is bad, it’s usually:

  • Complicated
  • Confusing
  • Vague
  • Unconvincing

A straightforward thesis stated early in the copy will solve these common problems.

Let your readers know exactly what you’re talking about and why they should keep reading. If your thesis is strong (i.e., the idea is useful to your audience), it will immediately appeal to your readers and will likely motivate them to continue reading with increased attention.

How early is early? It depends on how long the piece of writing is. The shorter the copy, the sooner you need to introduce your thesis.

Here’s a rough guideline:

  • For copy that’s 500 words or fewer, make your first sentence the thesis
  • For copy between 500 and 1,500 words, state the thesis within the first paragraph
  • For copy over 1,500 words, state the thesis within the first page

There’s no copy, regardless of length, that justifies a thesis stated after the first page.

And that’s worth thinking about.

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