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To begin, type a word or phrase in the box below, and hit enter. To quickly find associations for your own text, highlight a word or phrase in it, and use the toolbox popup. The associator learns contextual word associations from real literature, so it may return offensive results. It is said that one day, passive voice will bring weakness to your prose.

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Overview Phrases Words Check. Analysis Display Other Check. Try the demo or Start writing. Check your grammar in seconds Slick Write is a powerful, free application that makes it easy to check your writing for grammar errors, potential stylistic mistakes, and other features of interest. The grammar checker is lightning fast. Customizable feedback to suit your style.

We do not redistribute your documents. Inspire confidence English is a difficult language, so using correct grammar and diverse vocabulary will set you apart from the crowd. Get the extensions Using an extension is the easiest way to submit your work to Slick Write.

Mark text inside quotes. Mark text outside quotes. Sentences starting with the same word. Transition words and phrases. Mark long sentences words. Wordy and redundant phrases. High visibility markings On Off. Show automatic help Yes No. We cannot recover your work if it is lost. Disable this option if you are on a shared computer. You might want to disable this feature if you are working on a shared computer. If you are working on a novel, submit it one or two chapters at a time to avoid the limit.

There is a limit of , characters, which is approximately 30, words. Anything longer should be submitted in smaller chunks, or it will be automatically trimmed. This tab shows stylistic features and flaws within the document. Click an underlined region, or highlight a word or phrase to get more information.

If you make any changes here, remember to resubmit to get updated feedback. This tab shows sentence structure within the context of the document. Hover over a sentence to see its word count. Select a word or phrase, or click a sentence to get more information. This tool helps you eliminate or enhance repetition.

For ease of use, the areas with the least variety will always be bright red, and those with the most variety will always be bright green. Therefore, red regions are not necessarily mistakes, though they do warrant a closer look. Clicking on a word will display a list of the most common words that are nearby.

This will help you decide if the area needs to be reworked. This tab shows graphical distributions of sentence type, length, and word length. Each is a moving average, with word length weighted to the sentences before and after. Remember that rolling waves are good, flatness is boring, and choppiness is jarring. Flow can be altered by adding, removing, lengthening, shortening, combining, or splitting sentences. Click each type of meter for more specific explanations.

Pieces with good flow will make use of all four sentence types, varying them to keep the reader interested. Sentence length is indirectly related to sentence type, and is a good indicator of flow.

Long sentences will be indicated by a red line on the graph. Sentences that flow poorly with their surroundings will be orange, and the source of the problem can often be found in a nearby sentence.

Word length is a minor contributor to overall flow, but even minor variations are signs of good rhythm. This tab shows repeated words and phrases plus a wealth of other statistics. This is a measure of how frequently the passive voice is used. Consider revising your document if it scores over This is a measure of how frequently prepositional phrases are used. This is an estimate of the minimum grade level required to understand the text. Popular novels aimed at American adults tend to be written in the 7th to 9th grade range, which mirrors the reading capability of the average American adult.

Sentence length is a major contributor to the level of education required to read a body of text. You can increase this number by making long sentences longer, and short ones shorter. This is a measure of the sentence variety, and a major contributor to flow. Most novels score between 0. Enter a word or phrase, and hit enter to see a list of associated words. Resubmit to see configuration changes take effect.

Just the stats preset. Critique and Flow will be hidden. This preset checks for common indicators of deception, either by lying or omission, and is based on the findings of this study. Areas with high concentrations of these indicators should be viewed with skepticism. Note that the presence or absence of these indicators does not guarantee that a statement is true or false, and that the study was done on spoken communications, so it might be more applicable to interviews and speeches.

As always, use your brain. It is experimental and probably the least reliable feature. Consult a dictionary when necessary. Reusing linking verbs can make a sentence sound repetitive and boring. Keeping this to a minimum will pep your sentences up. It is considered poor style to place coordinating conjunctions at either end of a sentence. Placing a subordinating conjunction at the end of a sentence is against the rules.

Using more than three prepositional phrases in a sentence can make it cumbersome. Shane Arthur Jan 09, Writing one editing post is stressful enough! It must be error free after all, right?

Ricky Rocco Aug 03, I hate to rain on your parade; BUT, you broke your own rules. Chris Elliz Jan 09, I am planning to use it as a checklist for my editing. Do you know of an actual more comprehensive checklist for editing that we can use? I appreciate any advice you have on that. Other than that I have resources I like to visit: Shane Arthur Jan 10, John Gardner Jan 09, My son recently completed his PhD in English and he talks like that too.

Even the chapter titles; Simplicity, Clutter, Words, Usage — all short. Just the opposite of what my high school students do when writing essays.

Thanks for the reminders and suggestions. I have that book. As an extra assignment to all the readers here wanting to test their editing skills, buy this book a book on cutting the clutter and writing well, after all and try to see if you can spot any instances where Zinsser could have cut his own flab.

Mark Brinker Jan 09, I study everything his writes. Shawn Hartwell Jan 09, What a beautiful list of information. Shane Arthur Jan 11, Elke Feuer Jan 09, Glad you found them useful.

Gail F Jan 09, Mario Zeleny Jan 09, Lisa Jan 09, I mean, I knew the general principles and I know the rules about the Oxford comma, too! Like noun modifiers — I DO that, but I never thought about it that way.

I want to geek out on this post. It makes me wish I were still teaching writing, because these are all such great ways of explaining why the edits are better and how to apply them to different situations. Cathy Miller Jan 09, This is why you remain my favorite editor, Shane. I truly appreciate you saying that. And by all means, geek out! Sorry, I put my reply to Lisa on your comment. You know I blush easily! Kelley Jan 09, No soup for you!

No worries at all. Tis an honor to be mistaken for Jon Morrow anyhow. Leanne Regalla Jan 09, But I know there are gaps I need to close. And just think how boring life would be if we already mastered them all and had nothing to strive for.

Randy Kepple Jan 09, Reading about doing this is easier than doing it! One of the reasons Stephen King is my favorite writer is because he is the master of the edit. Great tips for creating dynamic content.

Implementing the art of the edit will ensure your article is read! Angela Tague Jan 09, Flashbacks of my high school English class now cloud my mind—in a good way! Am I the only one who enjoyed diagramming sentences and slaying passive voice? I remember getting transferred to an elementary school for one year and the teacher being awful — so much so that when I returned to my regular school a year later, I had forgotten how to read.

Jan 09, This came at a perfect time. I am launching a new website with a blog. Beth Hood Jan 09, Thank you for the fabulous lesson, which I just added to my bookmarks! How in bleep does that happen! Molly Jan 09, Thanks for the post. As William Strunk Jr.

But losing the flab in the second draft is pretty thrilling. For me, that word is like oatmeal, just never agreed with me. Daryl Jan 09, Indeed, even the greatest of writers have to go through multiple edits and drafts in order to come up with a product that clearly and concisely gets the message across to their readers.

Usually after I write a post, I spot errors that I have to frantically email the blog owner about. Peter Baxter Jan 27, Paul Harvie Jan 09, Thank you Shane for this insightful post. Editing tips are underutilized on line. I have clearly under edited many of my posts. Thank you again, I will be editing my posts much further from now on. Just curious, what did you think of the opening where we used strike-through text. I wanted people to jump right into the world of edited text to get a feel for what receiving a document with Track Changes from an editor is like.

Lina Jan 09, Shane, I just read this and I want to happy-dance. Bookmarking this page right now Thank You! David Horn Jan 09, Talk about illustrating your point — that was great.

The strike through text was really powerful … I had a notion as to what the post was going to be about from the good headline, but the strikethrough drove it home. As an editor, I am unqualified to stop you from happy dancing.

Ersan Seer Jan 09, This is a gem of a post. I wish they taught creative writing like this in college. Not sure about what the colleges teach, but wink, wink my affiliate link on the bottom may be of some use to you. Avastabik Jan 09, AwesomelyOZ Jan 09, Great advice though, will use these guidelines for subsequent posts!

Jawad Khan Jan 09, In general, I think a lot of the times we need to use certain words or phrases just to create emphasis in our writing. I agree with that you said. Mitchell Allen Jan 09, Shane, as always, you educate and entertain. Amandah Jan 09, Akshat Jiwan Sharma Jan 09, Very good advice Shane. After reading this post, I have a strong urge to edit all my previous posts. Your first point in particular gives me much trouble.

Some times I detect the use of extraneous words but most of the time they escape and creep into my writing. I disagree with you on 3 however. I feel that sometimes one word substitutions subdue the effect that I am trying to convey. Always go with what you feel is the best choice for your audience, regardless of what I or anybody else says. Ultimately, we can list guidelines, but you know your writing and your audience best. Dana Jan 09, John Jan 09, Very helpful and clear examples.

The more I write, the easier it is to look at my posts for editing and clarity. Glad to hear that. Before long you will spot certain grammar construction as if you are Neo fighting The Matrix.

Tracy Dapp Jan 09, Leigh Shulman Jan 09, I run an online writing group and will be adding this to our editing resources. Cory Peppler Jan 09, I second the comments about the brilliance of the intro, and the nitty-grittiness of the entire post is refreshing and highly useful.

And, yes, I just made up a word while commenting on a post about the English language. Thanks, Shane, for such dedication in creating such a detailed and, no doubt, exhausting post to write and edit. Overbo Jan 09, I am a creative writer as well, have been studying creative writing for years, and I have never seen a better explanation of these rules anywhere else.

Thank you so much. Creating this article added quite a few gray hairs to my head, so replies like your feel great. Hashim Warren Jan 09, I mentioned above that at some point, you will see edits like Neo sees zeros and ones in The Matrix. Dowell Jan 09, Great primer on concise writing of any kind! As I mentioned above, I have a ton of respect for academic folks specializing in language. Tom Southern Jan 09, Most posts on grammar, style, etc.

Editing your writing should take into account both. Otherwise it loses some of its bite. I love your writing, man! You will be the best judge of what is best for your own writing and audience. Tom Southern Jan 10, Yelena Reese Jan 09, This is definitely going into my favorites.

Thanks for sharing your expertise. Without a doubt, an editing pass will improve a blog post. Try it right now. Read each word slowly as if you are a sluggish robot. This will help you not read past each word as you try to spot errors. As you will see, it. See how that works! Andy Brandt Jan 09, You have come perilously close to breaking a rule for guest bloggers, Shane: Always good to throw in an error to make them look good.

David Gillaspie Jan 09, You made me laugh though. Alicia Rades Jan 09, I hope you will strengthen your writing by using less of them. Cathy Miller Jan 23, Donna Jan 09, Great blog — thanks! As I was reading, something struck me. The emphasis should be on the love of the writing itself and not the constraint of word count. Tom Bentley Jan 09, I think you need to have a slam poetry session with Grammar Girl and record it for posterity.

Read the first book. Need to get the second. Lori Ferguson Jan 09, Thx for taking the time to share, Shane! You are most welcome. Krista Low Jan 09, Thank you for the useful edits! Cutting out unnecessary words can be daunting. I just printed out your post for a quick reference. Once these editing tips are under your belt, you can get back to enjoying the good things in life.

Nick Jan 09, Rayne Jan 09, Shane, If you were a baseball pitcher your post was a fastball right down the middle, the pitch everyone swings at but few hit. As long as the writers reading this post are the fans watching the game and not the people trying to hit the ball, because we want them to hit it out of the park!

Esther Jan 09, Thank you Shane for clarifying how important editing is. I did not realize that a post was not done until it was edited until I came into the Boost Blog Traffic course.

Ray Jan 09, Flense the flabby words, expunge adverbs and adjectives, tighten your prose and fight for your own brand of punctuation — standard stuff, and sound advice, as far as it goes. There is a formula of sorts to writing, but that formula should always be framed in terms of principles, and not concretes. This method of teaching ignores the method by which the human mind works — which is to say, in principles — and chooses instead to overload the brain with endless commands that come without explication of fundamentals.

The people who memorize and compile these laundry lists, however, do not, for the most part, write durable literature. Man, that was an excellent comment you left.

I try to limit what I do to techniques that state what needs stated in as few words as possible to keep the modern busy reader from bolting. Definitely not overly proscriptive. Vicky Global Jan 09, I am guilty of this. I would guess that most of the time, time is the reason for not finding the appropriate word. Mitch Mitchell Jan 09, Other times… I need to be better.

Mitch and his commas! Dr Rie Natalenko Jan 09, I always thought my editing was okay, but you have some tricks here that will make it shine even brighter. I now know who to visit when I need some screenwriting tips. Siita Jan 09, Thanks Shane perfect timing. Shannon Hutcheson Jan 09, This is such a fantastic resource! I am looking forward to sharing this with authors I copy edit.

Susanna Perkins Jan 09, My niche is already too competitive, and if you keep teaching people to write more simply, clearly and powerfully, you take away what little edge I have. Whose idea was this, anyway? Mark Hermann Jan 09, Okay, you just made me bust out laughing. Checking to see if tightduckediting url is available. Christine Jan 09, Oh, so guilty of so many points here!

Must go back and edit older posts but while trying to keep my voice intact. Writing is so hard, remind me why we do it, please. Rob Jan 09, I embarrass myself every day when editing my work. Nothing to be embarrassed about. Our drafts should be a creative flow free from the constraints of our editor brains.

Eva Jan 09, This is just great! Arijit Jan 10, This is probably one of the best articles I have read on writing compelling content! I will be keeping this as a guide for everything that I write from now.. Thanks a lot Shane! Time for me to share this post! Beat Schindler Jan 10, Great post for writers seeking to be better writers — I should know: Pruning and trimming are not an end to growth, but redirecting the way of growth.

I like your pruning analogy. The only thing I love more than editing is gardening. West wishes back to you. Thank you for sharing your expertise in such a clear and effective way.

Les Jan 10, Really enjoyed how you chased the little rabbits out the fields! Enlightening, in lightning quick style…. Tresidder Jan 10, My writing has never been the same. Thanks for the great resource! You are the king of concise prose.

He sees bigger-picture flaws that I miss. Charlie Seymour Jr Jan 10, It takes all the action out of a sentence. Almost like passive voice. Nawaz Jan 10, Catherine Jan 10, A checklist is especially helpful when writing and editing late at night on deadline. Thanks for the useful post! Pat Mathias Jan 10, I took an editing course in college and believe I was the only one with a big smile on my face because I love editing!

However, I really like how you simplified it all and gave great examples. Thank you for another great reference tool. Hello fellow lover of the edit! A crossword puzzle is a great analogy of what editing feels like.

Liss Thomas Jan 10, My bestest buddy giving awesome advice. I got no excuses! Glad to see you again after so long. Let me know if you find anything in your writing that you improved. Editing old, error-filled posts would send me to twilight zone, for sure. Proofreading, editing hundreds is no joke, eh. May not feel like it, but you will.

Amy Jan 10, Thank you, Shane and Jon! The way you set it up made me want to read all the way to the end. Brenda Spandrio Jan 10, I loved the graphic opening of this post; great way to illustrate the point! However, I will be more conscious of fillers after reading this. I wrote an article for Copyblogger about proofreading and I did something similar in the opening link is in the article above.

I knew I wanted to do something similar to drive the point home in this post. Go glad you appreciated that. Dean Jan 11, Hermit Jan 11, Ana Jan 11, So far every piece I read brought outstanding value. Thank you for your work! Stan Eigi Jan 12, Shane Arthur Jan 12, Katharine Jan 13, The strikethrough introduction completely grabbed my attention. It worked like a film trailer and precisely communicated what would follow. What a relief to find clarity online, first thing this morning!

Shane Arthur Jan 13, Exactly the type of comment I love to read. Glad you enjoyed it. Maciej Fita Jan 13, Formatting is so important! I try to use rich media in every blog post I put together to keep the reader engaged throughout their reading experience.

I may only do one of these. Just had a crazy thought to try it. First come, first served. Rob Jan 13, Thanks for the offer. Shane Arthur Jan 14, Then a young woman walks up to the man, takes his sign and writes another message. Soon, just about everyone who passes by is giving [gives] the man pocketfuls of change. The girl returns later and the man asks her what she did to his sign.

That, in a nutshell, is the secret to writing powerful words. As I proofread this short blog, I made a small change I think helped improve the text. What can you do to make a better connection [nominalization — connect more or better connect] with your readers?


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Is editing the same thing as proofreading? Not exactly. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, editing and proofreading are two different stages of the revision process. Both demand close and careful reading, but they focus on different aspects of . When editing a large document, check it in smaller chunks to get fast responses. Novelists and journalists might want to critique dialog separately or not at all. You can change how dialog is .

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