#AskDrEditor: Borrowing fresh eyes for your academic writing

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My editing advice column, Ask Dr. Editor, is now available through UniversityAffairs.ca. The seventh Ask Dr. Editor column describes how to use three of my favourite free online algorithms to support your editing processes: “Borrowing Fresh Eyes for Your Academic Writing.”

Have a question you want me to answer? Contact me or ask me on Twitter at @lertitia.

Cut “is”

This is a writing problem that is easy to correct. (10 words)

This writing problem is easy to correct. (7 words)

When editing your draft, search for the word “is.” In the two sentences above, searching for “is” and rephrasing the sentence enabled the writer to cut 30% of the original word count without losing any of the original sentence’s meaning.

Short Tip: Use the “find” function in your word processor (Ctrl+F) to search for the words “is,” “was,” “are,” and “were.” These words are symptoms of wordiness.

Here’s how and why you should cut “is” as much as possible:

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