Clear Technical Writing
Clear Phrasing

Existence Claims

When we write at work, we do not have to remind our readers that what we are talking about really does exist.

Our increased sales demonstrated the existence of customer acceptance.

Our readers know it exists, simply because we are writing about it.

Our increased sales demonstrated customer acceptance.

Common keywords that signal existence claims include actual and presence.

Engineers finished the actual testing early.

Engineers finished the testing early.

It detects the presence of noise.

It detects noise.


Existence qualifiers are okay to use when we compare or contrast something that exists with something that does not exist.

We listed the proposed equipment. They list the discarded equipment. You will track the inventory of our existing equipment.

In this example the word existing means exists in owned inventory.

Edit your writing by underlining examples of existence claims. (Hint: Also look for new keywords.)

Removing salt from sea water is a real market worth pursuing. It can actually be distilled by boiling at less than atmospheric pressure. Membrane processes are actively expanding the market. But it's not potable if salt is found to be present in the water.

Lesson: Existence Claims
Module: Clear Phrasing
Course: Clear Technical Writing