#GrammarSeries – You are probably making this mistake in your writing

Grammar concept with toy dice

Every Tuesday we learn something new on our #GrammarSeries. The classes have been really exciting. You should check them out here. 

Today we are talking about a mistake you have probably made over and over and over again.

Look at this sentence and guess what’s wrong with it. 

“The function of the Sparkle Writers blog is the training of writers.”

Any idea? It’s wordy and we are going to explain why.

Wordiness is when a writer uses more words than necessary to express a thought. This usually happens when writers try to emphasize specific points. Writers also do this when they cannot find the perfect word to use. This could also occur when writers generate new thoughts in the course of a sentence.

Here’s how to avoid wordiness;

  • Revise. Wordiness will most likely occur in the first draft of any writing. The key to eliminate wordiness is to proof-read.
  • Mouth the words as you write. Many times you can detect an error by mouthing (reading out loud) the words.
  • Use active sentence construction. Minimize the use of passive sentences. Often times, thoughts expressed directly require fewer words than those expressed passively.

If you have already made this mistake in your previous article or post, there are a few things you can do to correct it.

  1. Delete unnecessary articles.

‘‘The evidence we have reveals that…’’

Corrected version (CV): ‘‘Evidence reveals that…’’

2. Convert prepositional phrases into one word modifiers.

“The lady with ambition…”

CV: The ambitious lady

3. Delete unnecessary ‘‘who,’’ ‘‘that,’’ and ‘‘which,’’ clauses.

“All writers who are interested in attending the seminar should send us an email.”

CV: All interested writers should…

4. Use active verbs.

“The seminar was attended by many writers.”

CV: Many writers attended the seminar.

5. Rescue verbs smothered in nouns.

“The function of the Sparkle Writers blog is the training of writers.”

CV: Sparkle Writers blog trains writers.

There are other ways you can correct this bad trend and we’ll discuss that next week.

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