Videos · Writing

Video – 5 tips to improve your writing

I am aware of these tips but I ignore them when writing my posts. However, I decided to start writing better from now on.

1. Avoid contractions
(e.g., Don’t, can’t, shouldn’t couldn’t, …)

2. Avoid there is/are

There are many development projects that the UN supports. [✕]
The UN supports many development projects. [✓]

3. Avoid using really, a lot, very and so.

A lot of the students … [✕]
Many students … [✓]

A lot of time is wasted. [✕]
Much time is wasted. [✓]

4. Avoid using passive voice as much as possible

5. Use strong verbs

Weak verb: He gave assistance to my friend
Strong verb: He assisted my friend


4 thoughts on “Video – 5 tips to improve your writing

  1. I am going to say one thing + add a verb-list that I really like:

    – The tips are useful and make sense surely, especially in academic/formal writing but -for me- tips 1, 3, and 4 apply to ENGLISH language (I realise this sounds conspicuous but it is amazing -again, to me- how such tips in writing are considered transferable to other languages)

    The emphasis on making one’s writing “stronger” is debatable and relative. That being said, rules and/or guidelines are a good idea nonetheless. I am always suspicious of such rules and try as much as I can to concentrate on delivering the meaning as the ultimate objective of my sentence/paragraph/section/or text.

    *** This does not mean by any form that I am a good academic writer, on the contrary my many, many, revise and resubmit “folder” testifies to the contrary 😀

    – I am sharing a link from my fav. academic writing blog ( It is a list of verbs to use (there r two “errors” in it though; the verb assesses appears twice in the (awesome) list AND the verb outlines appears in two lists; (awesome) + (neutral)

    Thanks Malik and apologies for the longishness 😛


    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject. The academic writing blog looks interesting and I liked the verbs cheat-sheet.

      Avoiding the passive voice was always a problem for me when writing technical papers, although she mentioned it is okay for engineering and scientific papers.


    1. I don’t think contractions are a big deal either. I don’t use MS-Word regularly but I recently noticed it doesn’t like contractions.

      I found it amusing that when avoiding contractions we add a space before ‘not’ except for ‘cannot’ Why in the world it is not written ‘can not’ like the rest of its kind 🙂


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