What is Writing Well is Hard?

writingwellishard.com is a free digital tool that helps academic writers to identify the patterns in their own writing, and to compare their work to a sample of their choice. I made writingwellishard.com because I’m not persuaded there’s only one way to write well, and I don’t like that the norms of “good” writing are tooContinue reading “What is Writing Well is Hard?”

#AskDrEditor: Zombie-proof your writing: Tips for making the conceptual concrete

My editing advice column, Ask Dr. Editor, is available through UniversityAffairs.ca. This Ask Dr. Editor piece discusses how alternating between abstract language and concrete details can help you explain complex concepts: “Zombie-proof your writing: Tips for making the conceptual concrete.” Have a question you want me to answer? Contact me!

Words to watch for: zombie nouns

“The proliferation of nominalizations in a discursive formation may be an indication of a tendency toward pomposity and abstraction.” In her New York Times essay, the academic and writer Helen Sword terms “nominalizations” — that is, nouns that contains within them shorter verbs, adjectives, or other nouns — “zombie nouns” because they “cannibalize active verbs,Continue reading “Words to watch for: zombie nouns”