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Revising Sentences and Paragraphs

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Revising Sentences and Paragraphs

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  1. To learn how to Build a forceful style. Choose between active and passive voice. Make your writing tight and concise. Vary sentence patterns. Use the right tone. Revising Sentences and Paragraphs

  2. Start by answering these questions: What’s “good” style? Are there rules I should follow? What should I look for when I revise sentences? What should I look for when I revise paragraphs? How does organizational culture affect style? Revising Sentences and Paragraphs

  3. To Create Good Style • Use friendly, conversational words. • Avoid contractions, slang, and even minor grammatical lapses. • Edit your writing to sound confident, even in uncomfortable situations. • Allow for some individual variation—use your own “voice.”

  4. Half Truths About Style • None of the following is necessarily true—decide what is appropriate based on audience and discourse community: • Write what “sounds” good. • Never use I. • Use big words.

  5. Get a clean page or screen. Try WIRMI (What I really mean is) Read the draft aloud to someone. Ask someone else to read it to you. Read widely and a lot. Use the techniques on the next slide. To Improve Style

  6. To Revise Sentences • Use active verbs most of the time. • Use strong verbs. • Tighten your writing. • Vary sentence length and structure. • Use parallel structure. • Put your readers in your sentences.

  7. To Revise Paragraphs • Begin most paragraphs with topic sentences. • Use transitions to link ideas. • e.g., and, but, however, for example, after, moreover.

  8. To Deal with Poor Style at Work • Use the techniques in this module. • Help your boss (or co-worker) learn about writing. • Recognize that style may serve purposes other than communication. • Ask if people truly like the standard.