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8 ways to improve your writing in 5 minutes

1. Circle every weak “to be” verb: be, am, is, are, was, were. Rewrite as many as you can using action verbs.

2. Make two sentences out of one long sentence.

3. Circle every pronoun: he, she, it, we, they, them. Which ones confuse? Rewrite those sentences.

4. Highlight every general statement. Which can you replace with something colorful and specific?

5. Vary the length of your sentences.

6. Highlight transition sentences; then scan the page. Are they missing? If so, connect the dots so you don’t lose your reader.

7. Does your piece have a hook? What makes it unique? (Not sure? Rewrite.)

8. Think you’re finished? Cut 10 percent and make your piece stronger. Then cut 10 percent more – and make your piece stellar.