Contents

This is a work in progress: lots of writing, formatting, revising, proofing left to do! — David McMurrey

Preface

Action-verb problems: actions missing in action

Spotting action-verb separations

Fixing action-verb separations

Evaluating action-verb separations in context

Fun with action-verb separations

Practice

Character-subject problems: characters missing in action

Spotting character-subject separations

Fixing character-subject separations

Evaluating character-subject separations in context

Fun with character-subject separations

Practice

Bad passive voice

Spotting Bad Passive Voice—both good and bad

Fixing bad passive voice

Fixing passive-voice nominalizations

Evaluating passive voice in context

Fun with bad passive voice

Practice

Wordiness and redundancy

Spotting wordiness

Fixing wordiness

Evaluating wordiness in context

Fun with wordiness

Practice

Wordy expletives

Not Watergate expletives

Advanced expletives

Fixing wordy expletives

Evaluating expletives in context

Fun with wordy expletives

Practice

Noun stacks

Spotting noun stacks

Fixing noun stacks

Evaluating noun stacks in context

Fun with noun stacks

Practice

Awkward, wordy, perplexing negatives

Spotting problem negatives

Fixing problem negatives

Fun with problem negatives

Practice

Demoralizing, insulting negative language

Spotting problem negative language

Fixing problem negative language

Fun with problem negative language

Practice

Wordy metadiscourse and hedging

Fixing metadiscourse

Trimming the hedges

Evaluating metadiscourse and hedging in context

Fun with metadiscourse and hedging

Practice

Choppy text

Spotting choppy text

Fixing choppy text

Evaluating choppy text in context

Fun with choppy text

Practice

Weak coordination

Spotting weak coordination

Fixing weak coordination

Fun with weak coordination

Practice

Word-phrase-clause problems

Expandinging Words and Phrases

Compressing Phrases and Clauses

Practice

Long introductions & interruptions

Spotting long introductions

Spotting long interruptions

Fixing long introductions

Fixing long interruptions

Fun with long introductions & long interruptions

Practice

Pompous word choice

Spotting pompous word choice

Fixing pompous word choice

Evaluating "big" word choice

Fun with pompous word choice

Practice

Overly long sentences

Spotting overly long sentences

Fixing overly long sentences

Evaluating long sentences in context

Fun with overly long sentences

Practice

Sentence-style wrapup

Review of sentence-style problems

Practice

Additional resources

Subjects and verbs

Verbal phrases and clauses

Coordination and subordination

Sentence diagramming: a simple method



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