Writing and Public Speaking

Techniques For Better Writing
By:Shelley M DuPont

Good writing does not just happen. It takes experience which means it takes practice. Not only that, but it is important that you learn how to edit and revise your work along the way. Many people believe that it is not important to have every little jot and tittle in place, that it is only important the reader get the main idea of the content. I disagree. So,I've included a few basic techniques for editing that will help present your work more professionally.

1. OVERUSED WORDS AND PHRASES

Look at each paragraph carefully. Do you notice any particular word or phrase used in excess? Take a colored pen and circle it. How many do you see in the first paragraph? Typically, there will be the same amount in each paragraph throughout the page. Find a synonym to replace it, or if possible, omit it. Once you train your eye to this, it won't take long before you can apply this to a whole page in a matter of minutes.

2. SO, THEN, WHEN

It doesn't matter how long you've been writing, starting a sentence with the words "so, then, or when" is common. Go back through your work and cross out any of these words that occur at the beginning of each sentence. You will find that the next word usually will work fine and will not detract from the meaning of your sentence.

3. BOTTOMS UP!

Read your content backwards from the bottom up. Yes, that's what I said. You will be amazed at the mistakes you will find compared to reading in a normal manner. This causes the eye to read purposefully. It can be time consuming depending upon the length, but it is worth it.

Writing is like a room. Everything has a place and everything has a purpose. Too much gives it a cluttered feel. By following these 3 basic techniques, you will find your writing looks more professional. It will also enable the reader to get the point without stumbling through the wordiness. Your confidence level will increase and so will your desire to keep writing.

I am a former high school English teacher, wife of a retired military member, married 37 years, mother and grandmother. I have learned that teaching Language Arts does not necessarily give me the skills needed to blog and write articles. I view life as long term learning to which the internet has played a major role over the year. You may find me at http://www.writesideup.org for a more generic blog, and http://www.dupont-horizons.blogspot.com for a focus on the Seneca language. I am a member of the Tonawanda Indian Reservation east of Buffalo, New York.






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