Getting to The Point: Editing Tips to Improve your Writing

Getting to The Point: Editing Tips to Improve your Writing

I took the idea for this article from Mark Nichol. He wrote an article entitled, “A Basis for More Concise Wording”. I would have simply shared the article, but, and I’m sorry for being blunt Mark, but the post was poorly written. The gist, however, is sound advice.

Mark advises writers to improve their writing by making it more concise. Principally, he advises removing the phrasing, on a/an [blank] basis.

For example, instead of writing: “We mow the lawn on a regular basis,” write, “We mow the lawn regularly.”

What you’re doing is converting the adjective into an adverb and eliminating the phrase on a/an [blank] basis. This creates a sentence that is concise and to the point—my favorite kind of sentence.

HOWEVER, not all adjectives have an adverbial form. For instance, as Mark points out, ongoing is an adjective that cannot be made into an adverb. In this case, Mark suggests putting the adjective in front of the verb. So, “He sought counselling on an ongoing basis,” becomes, “He sought ongoing counselling.”

This advice also applies to variations of the phrase such as in a/an [blank]manner.
And since this post is all about being concise, that’s all I have for you today.


Are you looking to improve your writing? I can help! Contact me at amandalshore@gmail.com.

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