revision – the “make it better” exercise


Occasionally I offer strategies that you can try to see if they work for you. If they do, and not everything works for everybody, then you can add them to your academic writing repertoire. Today I’ve got an exercise designed to support diagnosis of your own writing weaknesses.

In the quiet of your own work space, find a passage of text written by someone other than you. A text which seems to you to be not as well written as it might be. Read the text. Take note of where you think there might be some clunky writing.

Now read it again. Identify the problems.
Here’s a starter list of some things to look for.
Headings – too many? Not enough? Too vague? Don’t seem to be what the text is about? Too clever by half?
Meta-commentary – you can’t work out the point of reading this? Where…

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