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Do you overdo academic referencing in your professional writing?

Universities and schools do such a good job teaching us to use linking words that we tend to continue to overuse these in our professional writing.

However, at work, we need information presented in a way that will help us to be efficient, so we prefer to read lists and short texts with subheadings and other signposting techniques to find information quickly.

These “academic linkers” can usually be removed without detracting from the text. Here’s a paragraph where the author describes the steps taken in the editorial process. Can you find a way to remove the underlined adverbs of frequency and linking words?

“Once ready, I often use one of our preset templates to start formatting, laying out the document as well as applying the styles, as needed. Frequently, I prepare the front cover and title page, insert copyright information and logo, request cataloguing information and ensure a document number is added. In addition, I check the headers or footers, page numbers, references, footnotes or endnotes, table of contents and different lists. Moreover, I check the figures, tables and illustrations and occasionally I am requested to proofread a document against the editorial markup to guarantee that all corrections are inserted.”

Answer key

Here is the same text, but taking a more professional writing approach.

“I take the following steps:

1. Use one of our preset templates to start formatting, laying out the document, as well as applying the styles, as needed.

2. Prepare the front cover and title page, insert copyright information and logo, request cataloguing information and ensure a document number is added.

3. Check the headers or footers, page numbers, references, footnotes or endnotes, table of contents and different lists.

4. Check the figures, tables and illustrations.

5. Proofread a document against the editorial markup to guarantee that all accepted corrections have been inserted.”

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Carol Waites (PhD)
Email: carolswritingtips@gmail.com
For more writing tips, consult my website:
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Presentation/editing by Christina O’Shaughnessy (editor)
worldwidewriting.org/

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