In this article, author and creative writing professor Rachel Toor shares a few writing tips. Some of the highlights:
- Use the find feature (“CTRL + F” or “Command + F” on a mac) to search for overused words. This may include forms of the verb “to be” (am, is, are, was, been, etc…), which can weaken writing.
- Scan writing for words ending in -tion, -ism, -ty, -ment, -ness, -ance, and -ence and replace these “fuzzy nouns” with “a more muscular verb and…a concrete noun” when it betters the sentence.
- Play around adjusting font and point size. Zoom out or decrease the font size to see the overall structure of your writing. Then select a really simple font at a normal size to focus on content instead of formatting.
- Read your drafts aloud (Toor reads to her dog).
Can this advice help your students strengthen their writing?