Sunday, September 17, 2006

# 15: 'To Be or Not ...' - How to Avoid 'To Be'

I always learn a lot I can apply to grant writing when I read Daphne Gray-Grant's e-newsletters. Avoiding forms of 'to be' has been etched on my brain, but I never thought to use this editing technique she recommends.
I use "control + F" to help me find BAD things in my writing, and eliminate them. For example, I go on a search and destroy mission for all forms of the verb "to be." To do this, I hit "control + F" and type the word "is" in the handy-dandy little box. Then I hit, "find next." The software then takes me methodically through my story or article, highlighting every time I've used the word "is." One by one, I then try to replace each "is" with a more interesting verb. And then, if I'm feeling energetic, I do exactly the same thing with: were, was, are, will be.
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1 comment:

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