Skip to content

Avoid using ‘not’ in your writing if you can  

Try alternatives, as ‘not’ may turn the reader off. Using ‘not’ is often a bad habit some writers have in order to emphasize a point.  

To make your point sound more positive — or at least, less negative— you could use a prefix or reword the phrase.

In the following examples from students’ texts, see if you can rephrase them to avoid using ‘not’: 

  1. States Parties do not have a legal obligation to designate all types of Points of Entry (PoEs).
  2. … public health risks are not limited to specific geographic locations and may therefore occur in or affect PoEs that have not been previously designated.
  3. … and further enhance this to geographies and populations that may not have been covered adequately.

Suggested answer key

  1. States Parties have no legal obligation to designate all types of Points of Entry (PoEs).
  2. … public health risks are not limited to go beyond specific geographic locations and may therefore occur in or affect previously undesignated PoEs. that have not been previously designated.
  3. … and further enhance this to geographies and populations that may not have been covered inadequately. 

_________________________________________________________

Carol Waites (PhD)
Email: carolswritingtips@gmail.com
For more writing tips, consult my website:
https://carolswritingtips.com/writingtips/
To sign up for the newsletter, go here:
https://carolswritingtips.com/  

Presentation/editing by Christina O’Shaughnessy (editor)
https://worldwidewriting.org/

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *