Thursday, May 7, 2009

Techniques For Better Writing

by Shelley M. DuPont

Good writing does not just happen. It takes experience which means it takes practice. Not only that, but it is important that you learn how to edit and revise your work along the way. Many people believe that it is not important to have every little jot and tittle in place, that it is only important the reader get the main idea of the content. I disagree. So,I've included a few basic techniques for editing that will help present your work more professionally.

1. OVERUSED WORDS AND PHRASES

Look at each paragraph carefully. Do you notice any particular word or phrase used in excess? Take a colored pen and circle it. How many do you see in the first paragraph? Typically, there will be the same amount in each paragraph throughout the page. Find a synonym to replace it, or if possible, omit it. Once you train your eye to this, it won't take long before you can apply this to a whole page in a matter of minutes.

2. SO, THEN, WHEN?

It doesn't matter how long you've been writing, starting a sentence with the words "so, then, or when" is common. Go back through your work and cross out any of these words that occur at the beginning of each sentence. You will find that the next word usually will work fine and will not detract from the meaning of your sentence.

3. BOTTOMS UP!

Read your content backwards from the bottom up. Yes, that's what I said. You will be amazed at the mistakes you will find compared to reading in a normal manner. This causes the eye to read purposefully. It can be time consuming depending upon the length, but it is worth it.

Writing is like a room. Everything has a place and everything has a purpose. Too much gives it a cluttered feel. By following these 3 basic techniques, you will find your writing looks more professional. It will also enable the reader to get the point without stumbling through the wordiness. Your confidence level will increase and so will your desire to keep writing.

24 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I have a doctorate in education. I understand how to write, but I am not always able to get to the work. I am often to busy. I would like to tell my story. A story of a mother of three disabled children whose husband was and is a singer and was often on the road. I was often alone. I was going to college to be a teacher and working a job while raising my three children. Eventually, I received my doctorate, but before receiving it, I lost my only son who lost his battle with a horrible neuro-muscular disease.

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  2. 老天爺賦予了強者的能力,就是要他比弱者多擔待..................................................

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  3. 尼采:「一棵樹要長得更高,接受更多的光明,那麼它的根就必須更深入黑暗。」............................................................

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  4. 一個人的際遇在第一次總是最深刻的,有時候甚至會讓人的心變成永遠的絕緣。......................................................................

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  5. It doesn't matter how long you've been writing

    ReplyDelete