Plain business writing course (entry 6): Location, location, location

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Where I put my information matters. Some parts of my text have a bigger impact on my reader than others.

Rule 6: Place important information early or late – not in the middle.
 
While reading, we tend to pay more attention to words appearing early in the sentence. That means we should be extra careful when choosing the beginning words of our sentences.
We also tend to pay more attention to the subject of a sentence than to the object – and, yes, the subject does often appear at the beginning of the sentence. Look at the following sentence:
'The boy kicks the ball.'
What is the subject of this sentence, and what is the object?
The boy is the subject (the doer) and the ball is the object (the thing that the action is being done to). Research tells us that the reader will pay more attention to 'the boy' than to 'the ball'.
Lastly, we tend to remember sentences from the beginning and end of a passage better than sentences from the middle. 
 
To sum up: Put important information at the beginning of sentences, and put important sentences at the beginning and end of a passage.