Writing Tips

Useless Words

Our best writing tip? Edit for clarity and brevity with WordRake. It’s an automated in-line editor that checks for needless words, cumbersome phrases, clichés, and more.

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The Windup before the Pitch

15 Common Sentence Openings to Avoid

If it:

“should be remembered”

“must be noted”

“could be said” that . . . .

If it:

“bears stating”

“became clear”

“comes as no secret” that . . . .

If it is:

“axiomatic”

“recognized”

“essential”

“argued”

“likely”

“fair to say”

“a safe bet”

“a well-know fact” that . . . .

 

. . . then just throw the ball.

 

The word “it” at the beginning of a sentence or clause signals you can probably delete words. Down the road, you will always see a “that”; it is part of the pattern. Some judges call this “throat clearing.” Unless the “it” refers to something, like a contract, you can either delete all of the words from “it” through “that,” delete some of those words, or replace those words with one or two words:

It should be noted that This did not prevent Harbaugh from compensating Collins directly for commissions earned on Sprint.

It was Not until after the war did that I learned learn who it was that had knocked.

It was this second characteristic that enabled radio to create the “mass audience.”

It is essential that Plaintiff must plead facts that show wrongful conduct.

I had a couple of bad situations over the course of a year, and it dawned on me that I realized I didn’t have to be in Los Angeles anymore.

You will know what to do when you allow your eye to be drawn to the word “it.”

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

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How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.