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AfriGeneas Writers Forum

Want to be a better writer?

Using tired phrasing, too many words or a pompous tone undermines good writing and many writers don't even realize they're doing it. Being alert to these poor word-use habits and knowing how to break them can strengthen your work.

According to Susan Benjamin, author of Words at Work: Writing in Half the Time with Twice the Power (Cambridge, MA: Perseus Publishing, 1997), 103, most writers likely have less than five poor writing habits, and you can overcome them by addressing them every time you rewrite.

Benjamin recommends beginning by identifying your word-use bad habits, which may include one or more of these common problems:

1. Passive voice

2. Wordiness

3. Tired phrases

4. Repeated words

5. Repeated ideas

6. Negative tone

7. General word use

8. Pompous tone

9. Boring sentence structure
10. Jargon

She suggests making a list of your particular problems, "determining which are constant and which only speckle your writing."

Messages In This Thread

Want to be a better writer?

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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