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I am posting this as a benchmark, not because I think I'm playing very well yet.  The idea would be post a video every month for a ye...

Monday, May 24, 2010

Editing With Julia

Julia was looking over my shoulder as I was grading papers. She noticed: word repetition ("Dad, this student keeps using the word 'intricate' over and over on every page"). Sentence structure (sentences too short, too long, no variation in length of structure; every sentence in a paragraph begins with the same word). "Thesaurus" writing, where the student has reached for a hifalutin word that is not the correct word. Obscure, difficult to understand language. Pomposity, wordiness...

Julia is not yet 15, yet I could hire her to grade my papers for me, or at least go through quickly to point out some obvious flaws. My point here is that a lot of flaws in writing are readily perceptible to almost anyone with a minimal sense of style. You shouldn't necessarily write for a high-school sophomore or freshman, but a smart person in that age group will know if you are not a good writer.

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