Eight Easy Rules for Editing Your Employees’ Writing

Teach Written Skills to Your Staff

Here are eight easy rules for editing your employees’ writing:

The top three are the most important:

1. Avoid the verb “to be.”

Initial: Roughly two million U.S. children have a pre-diabetic condition linked to obesity.

Revised: Roughly two million U.S. children suffer from a pre-diabetic condition linked to obesity.

2. Avoid flowery writing. Use as few words as possible.

Initial: In 2005, GSL offered its program in collaboration with the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, to teach 26 students.

Revised: In 2005, GSL joined with the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to teach 26 students.

3. Avoid subordination (use of “that” or “which”)

Initial: It’s important that those of us in government continue to…

Revised: As elected officials, we must continue to….

Other rules:

4. Avoid the passive tense.

Initial: Local and national elections were disrupted with violence and fraud by political partisans.

Revised: Political partisans disrupted national elections with violence and fraud.

5. Avoid negative constructions.

Initial: Unlike many of our colleagues, he does not deal in raucous vulgarity.

Revised: Unlike many of our colleagues, he avoids raucous vulgarity.

6. Avoid using the word “I” too often.

Initial: As a minority, I am also very interested in the impact and effectiveness of community integration.

Revised: As a minority, my personal interests include the impact and effectiveness of community integration.

7. Avoid gender prejudice.

Initial: Each team member contributes his/her talents and expertise to the customized needs of each client.

Revised: Our team members contribute their talents and expertise to the customized needs of each client.

8. Avoid word repetition in the same or sequential sentences.

Initial: Innovative construction strategies will conserve energy, use environmentally sustainable business materials, reduce operational costs and conserve natural resources.

Revised: Innovative construction strategies will conserve energy, use environmentally sustainable business materials, reduce operational costs and preserve natural resources.