Writing Reviser: Choosing Better Words

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Good news! We’ve revised the Writing Reviser.

We’re happy to announce a number of exciting new features we’ve recently added to the Writing Reviser menu to help students select words that are more vivid, accurate, and powerful.

Give meaning to those empty expressions.

A new feature in the Sentence Economy section allows students to find expletives—words or phrases that fill out a sentence without adding meaning.

The two most common expletives are “it” and “there.” The following sentence becomes more direct and forceful if we revise to eliminate the expletive: 

Weak: There are four reasons why I love tacos.

Better: I love tacos for four reasons.

Look for some new in the old.

We’ve also updated some of the original features to make them even more robust. We now find more examples of weak or confusing diction in three problem areas:

  • Wordiness (words completely unnecessary in a sentence)
  • Vague words (words so general that they are obstacles to understanding)
  • Clichés and jargon (words so unoriginal or arcane as to be hindrances to expression)

Writing Reviser was not built to be a punitive revision tool; it does not search for and highlight mistakes in student essays. Instead, it provides feedback so that student writers can find opportunities for making improvements.

Check out all the new revisions to the Writing Reviser, and look for more additions to Writing Reviser in the coming months!

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About Author

Terry Hardison

Terry Hardison oversees the development of English language arts resources for Curriculum Pathways. Prior to joining SAS, Terry worked for 21 years as a teacher and as a district-level English language arts supervisor.

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