Following the components of the Army writing style will lead you to write to Army standard. The Army standard is stated as “transmits a clear message in a single rapid reading and is generally free of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.” A general summary of the Army writing style is below:
- Put the recommendation, conclusion or reason for writing — the bottom line — in the first or second paragraph, not at the end.
- Use the active voice.
- Use short sentences (an average of 15 or fewer words).
- Use short words (three syllables or fewer).
- Write paragraphs that average 6 to 7 sentences in length.
- Use correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- Use “I,” “you,” and “we” as subjects of sentences instead of “this office,” “this headquarters,” “all individuals,” and so forth for most kinds of writing.
- Retype correspondence only when pen and ink changes are not allowed, when the changes make the final product look sloppy, or when the correspondence is going outside DA or to the general public. In general, do not retype correspondence to make minor corrections.
Learning to accurately use the various components of the Army writing style correctly will help you learn to write using the Army writing standard.