PRINCIPLES OF SIMPLICITY

Simple communication involves repeating frameworks that have few elements.


Clearly, there are many ways to simplify communication. Three useful strategies for simplifying communication are:


1) The "Rule of Three": using frameworks with three or fewer elements.

2) Repeating simple frameworks.

3) Expressing one main idea per element (e.g. sentence or paragraph).

SUMMARY

Simplicity can improve communication for many reasons. One important way that simplicity is important for scientific communication is that simple presentation can reduce the amount of information that the audience must try to understand at any one time. Having each element of writing (e.g. sentences, paragraphs) express a single main idea, and using repetition can both contribute to simple communication. Repetition can contribute to simplifying writing in (at least) two ways. Using repeated structures can make it easier for audiences to focus on information instead of understanding different ways of presenting information. Repetition can also be useful for emphasizing important information. Ensuring that each sentence has a clear role in constructing an argument (e.g. premise, conclusion, clarification, or transition) can also simplify and clarify writing.