Clear Technical Writing
Simple Action

Make and Cause

Simple verbs make writing clear.

Our factory makes that connector.

Complex verbs risk the opposite.

Our factory produces that connector.

The verb produce is a complex version of the simple verb make. It can emphasize causing or creating, and it can suggest showing publicly.

When you do want to say something more complex, it is appropriate to use the more complex verb.

That orchard produces good fruit.

The same ideas apply to other synonyms for the simple verb make.

We will make the prototype.

We will implement the prototype.

The verb implement can emphasize following a plan, and it can suggest specific activities.

We will implement your idea for building the prototype with production hardware.

Consider another simple verb, cause.

Severe stress causes failures.

Severe stress results in failures.

The verb phrase results in emphasizes consequences and suggests that the reader focus more on the object than on the subject.

Ignoring stress results in failures that cost a lot of money.

Other verb phrases can be used as complex synonyms.

Less exposure to luminal microbial components was responsible for the increase in autoimmune diseases.

Less exposure to luminal microbial components gave rise to the increase in autoimmune diseases.

These passive verb phrases indicate that the writer is more interested in demonstrating literary skill than in clearly making a claim. At work, simplicity should be a primary goal of your writing.

Less exposure to luminal microbial components caused the increase in autoimmune diseases.

Edit your writing by underlining verbs that may be unnecessarily complex.

That company produces power tools. Extended use of a sander results in fatique. Changes are being implemented in newer models. Not using earplugs can be responsible for damage to your hearing.

Lesson: Make and Cause
Module: Simple Action
Course: Clear Technical Writing