Writing and Editing Tips

Here are some tips for writing and editing. This is a reminder to me as much as for students and most ideas are taken from the sources listed.

Omit unnecessary words

Cut words that are redundant and unnecessary. Try to be more precise with as few words as possible. Here are some guides to words that be omitted:

Avoid nominalizations

Here is a classic description of the problem by Helen Sword – Zombie Nouns

Watch a video based on this article here:

Other descriptions and guidance:

Tips from Jacques Barzun’s Simple and Direct: A Rhetoric for Writers:

  • weed out the jargon (p. 27)
  • avoid “adverbial dressing gowns” – where the writer thinks the adverb is needed to make the verb decent. Examples include, “seriously consider” and “be absolutely right” (p. 124)
  • “however” is forbidden word (p. 206)
  • Remember – “All writing is rewriting.” (p. 227)
  • Cut words when revising – you can probably eliminate these words all, own, of, and whole, one and the possessives. Also longer words: however, almost, respective(ly), successive, entire, thorough, always, perhaps (p. 243)


Some links
50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills

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