You should know that your first draft is never perfect. During class, you were required to read your classmates’ papers, and they used self-editing checklists to make sure that they fixed the common mistakes. Sol Stein compares the process to triage. To improve your writing, strike through words, use arrows to move your sentences, and write in the spaces between sentences. There are other things you can do to improve your work, too.
The use of cliches is a common and often unnecessary error that makes your writing sound old-fashioned and unoriginal. Besides, they often don’t add much to the argument you’re trying to make. When writing for your audience, it is important to strike a balance between style and sensibility. Try reading your writing from the perspective of your intended audience, and avoid using overused phrases or cliches.
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If you use cliches when writing an essay, it will come off as wordy. It also gives the impression of insincerity. The reader will lose trust in your work and will not be able to distinguish between the genuine and the phony. It will also affect how you are able to persuade your audience. So, the best way to avoid cliches when writing an essay is to avoid using them at all costs.
Balanced sentence structure
The Self-editing checklist for essay writing should include a balanced sentence structure. Too many short sentences will make your prose reads like a list of disconnected thoughts. Too many long sentences will make your work sound too wordy and confusing. Even if you are attempting to make your essay look like it has a wide variety of sources, it can be difficult to maintain a balance. Use transition words to connect your sentences. Also, avoid using the passive voice.
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While reviewing the essay, check for errors in the sentence structure and tone. You should circle or underline errors. Then determine which type of error is being made. If you’re not sure what a particular error is, do an Internet search or consult a reference text for a more detailed explanation. Check for common grammar, spelling, and page-formatting errors. Make sure that you’re using academic-sounding words and refrain from abusing pronouns. Also, make sure that you don’t exceed 15 sentences per paragraph.
One of the most important grammatical rules for academic writing is to avoid the use of passive voice. While passive voice is acceptable in some types of writing, it is not appropriate in academic writing. For example, an essay on a book you read should not use the passive voice. Hence, the first step is to check whether your writing is using the active voice. Make sure that your sentences are not too long or too short. If they are, you should try to cut them down.
While using the active voice is less obvious, you should still avoid the use of the passive voice. You should avoid using “she” or “he” whenever possible. Instead of these words, try to replace them with stronger adjectives and adverbs. Active voice reads better and is much more engaging. If you’re still not sure, watch some informational videos and articles to get a better idea of how to switch between the two voices.
Avoiding the passive voice
While using the passive voice is generally acceptable, some writers find it a mistake. Despite the popularity of this style, it can make a piece sound stilted or even stilted-looking. While passive voice is appropriate for some genres, academic writing and persuasive writing are not, so it’s important to know when to use it. Here are a few ways to avoid it. And remember, it’s best to use it sparingly.
The passive voice can draw the attention of the reader to the object of an action or subject. In other words, it conveys the impression that the person is merely an object and not the subject of the action. For example, in a sentence with the acting subject Steve, the sentence will read, “The man’s presence confers significance on the married woman.” Then, in another example, the woman is cared for and handled by the man.
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