Writing for Sunnyvale Small Businesses
Novice writers sometimes fall into the trap of writing to impress rather than inform. It is easy to spot this style of writing, as it is full of verbs used as nouns, nouns used as verbs, multiple words when one simple word will do, and passive voice. Here are some examples:
Verb used as noun: The Day at the Races program is an affordable way to fundraise. In the illustration, we have dollarized the value of the inventory.
Noun used as verb: The swimmer medalled in his race. Jack and Jill parented the visiting children.
- Multiple words used where one is sufficient: I will make reference to this situation. If I can be of assistance, please contact me.
Passive voice: The story was told repeatedly by Robert. Photos were contributed by all the participants.
Good editing will eliminate these bad habits.
- When the sentence calls for a noun, use one: The Day at the Races program is an affordable way to raise funds. In the illustration, we have assigned a dollar value to the inventory.
- When the sentence calls for a verb, use one: The swimmer won a medal in his race. Jack and Jill acted as parents to the visiting children.
- Simplify to a single word whenever possible: I will refer to this situation. If I can assist, please contact me.
- As a rule, use active voice: Robert repeatedly told the story. All the participants contributed photos.