Friday, September 3, 2010

#10 of the Top 10 Techniques For Writing Like A Pro

Here's #10 of Barbara McNichol's 10 Top techniques For Writing Like a Pro.

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#10. Whack Wordiness

As you write, proofread, rewrite, and finalize what you’ve written, whack all the extra words you can to sharpen your message.

Take out these five wobbly words as often as you can:

• some “We rely on some long-standing methods.”

• much “Internet job postings reach a much larger audience than ever.”

• very “Get ready to do a very good job.”

• that “Find information that you can apply easily.”

• really “Take out words that you really don’t need.

Note: The word “that” doesn’t substitute for “who” when referring to a human being. It’s not “a person that plays the piano” but “a person who plays the piano.”

Aim to eliminate extra phrases such as these:

• “there is” and “there will be” e.g., There will be many candidates who are already planning to move. Better: Many candidates may be already planning to move.

• “It is all about”; “the fact of the matter is”

• “in regards to” e.g., There may be additional sites you should search out in regards to your industry. Better: Seek out additional sites related to your industry.

• “is going to” e.g., he is going to be a key asset. Better: he will be a key asset.

• “in order to” e.g., add key words in order to describe the position Better: add key words to describe the position

• “is intended to, meant to, designed to” e.g., The prescreen is intended to focus on key aspects. Better: The prescreen focuses on key aspects.

Get rid of redundancies such as:

• end result

• add more

• tally up

• future planning

Eliminate repeated words: e.g., “Following a process for hiring, we followed the techniques in this book.” Better: “Following a process for hiring, we adopted the techniques in this book.”

Avoid writing long-winded sentences of more than 20 words by doing this:

• Chop a long sentence into two

• Change nouns to verbs (e.g., “the examination of” to “examine”)

• Question every single word, especially adverbs and adjectives, then take out the ones you really don’t need.

Example of editing a 44-word sentence (1.) down to a 21-word sentence (2.):

1. The subsequent chapters then will focus in great detail on each of the steps to make sure you know how to accomplish each step before proceeding to the next step and how to measure whether or not you are ready to move to the next step.

2. The subsequent chapters detail all 13 steps and show how to accomplish each one while measuring whether you are ready to move on.

Apply these top ten techniques and see your writing soar to a higher level of perfection than ever before!

Barbara McNichol writes and edits articles, books, and book proposals for authors, speakers, and consultants. She can be reached at 520-615-7910 or 887-696-4899 or online at and
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Write Like a Pro: 10 Top Techniques for Perfecting Your Prose
#1. Match the Word to Its Precise Meaning
#2. Show, Don’t Tell
#3. Add Alliteration (and Other Figures of Speech)
#4. Ignite Sentences with Active Verbs
#5. Get Them to Agree
#6. Nix Mixed Modifiers (aka Dangling Participles)
#7. Talk Directly to Your Readers
#8. Pursue a Parallel Path
#9. Set a Clear Objective
#10. Whack Wordiness

Thanks to Barbara, we are all now more effictive writers!!

Join us Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at the Air Conference Centre, Phoenix, AZ, 6-8pm, for The Sacred Journey of Caregiving-A Transformational Approach to LIfe. Seats are limited so register now!

Sandra-Caregiver Guru

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