Editing Strategy: Who D...

When writers answer the second part of the question (Who did WHAT?), their sentences become plugged in. Alive.  Good ways to activate sentences are to (1) use strong, present tense action verbs whenever possible and (2) use real verbs instead of verbs in disguise. In the sentence She is working, the writer can shorten the verb to …

Editing Strategy: Ask W...

An easy way to find out if a sentence needs an actor is to ask the question WHO did what?

Look at this sentence:  It is requested that you update the regulations occasionally.

First ask, WHO did what?  Someone (we do not know whom) requests something.  Change the sentence to put in an actor:

The Vice-president of Sales, Marjorie Dunbar,

Editing Strategy: Use T...

Transition words signal readers that the writer is changing direction–or illustrating a point–or staying on the same track–or summing up.  Transitions words signal the reader where the piece is going.  A simple word like nonetheless tells readers a contrasting point is being brought up.  One simple hint on looking for those places where transition words would best help the document:  …

Editing Strategies: Avo...

As almost all teenagers know, words can merely fill space rather than specify or refine meaning: Ask a teenager, “Where did you go?”  He’ll tell you, “Out.”  Then ask, “What did you do?”  You know the answer. “Nothing.”  Often, teenagers do not really want to answer their parents, but they have to say something, utter some words.  Ergo, vague words.…

Regarding Writing

Must find one’s voice and eyes

“There is nothing personal about facts, but there is about choosing and grouping them.” (Jacques Barzun, historian, From Dawn to Decadence)

In writing essays, this philosophy is paramount.…

Questions to Guide Your...

How Good Am I At:

  • Spotting good clues to write about as I read?
  • Generating ideas for my assignments?
  • Stocking my reservoirs with ideas to get outlines?
  • Creating rough outlines to think before I write and thus organize my ideas better?
  • Using thesis statements to focus my thoughts and organize my essays?
  • Structuring paragraphs so they follow the thesis statements,