Posts tagged Self-editing
“To Be” or Not “To Be”:  Or, the Editorial Consideration of Whether to Remove "To Be" Verbs

When writing for class, have you ever felt that your words simply sit on the page without any power or movement? Have you already adapted to the needs of presenting a clear thesis but still nevertheless feel that your body descriptions lack vitality? Have you shifted into using the five writing stages but still feel uncertain how to focus your editing of sentence-level wording? Rest assured: many students feel similarly. 

This blog entry is intended to help you graduate students to address one of the most common wording issues noted in writing advice: reducing “to be” verbs.

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Tips on Writing the Personal Statement

As a graduate student, you may find that many jobs, internships, scholarships, and graduate/ professional programs ask for a written personal statement. If you're feeling overwhelmed, then rest assured this blog post will explain the purpose of this type of writing and offer helpful tips to get you started on your writing journey.

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Editing tip: Minimize hedge words

Hedge words are words that limit the all-inclusiveness of an otherwise absolute statement. For example, ''Dogs are awesome” makes a universal claim about all dogs, whereas “Most dogs are awesome” speaks about canine tendencies without claiming that absolutely all dogs must fit the description.

Similarly, hedging can be used to make personal statements such as “I personally think all dogs are awesome, though I understand why people don't always feel the same way" or "Other dogs may be great, but only mine is awesome!"

Just like the use of the word hedge in landscaping, the proper use of hedge words can produce a very specific and detailed picture of your work.

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