Clear Technical Writing
Blurry verbs encourage reading minds to wander. Keep your reader engaged by choosing the verb that is perfect for your sentence.
Replace a verb + adverb
When we can't think of the perfect verb, we sometimes overcompensate by using an adverb that points in the direction we were thinking.
They carefully looked at the research data.
They analyzed the research data.
actively encourage → promote
successfully clear up → resolve
think carefully about → consider
Replace a stuffy verb phrase
Just because we write about something important does not mean we should use phrases that sound formal or legal.
The committee must afford an opportunity for customer feedback at its meeting.
At work, be direct and specific.
The committee must permit customer feedback at its meeting.
obtain an answer to → solve
raise objections to → question
make known to others → reveal
Rewrite a weak verb phrase
Sometimes a replacement is not enough.
Smoke from forest fires made air surveys impossible.
Smoke from forest fires prevented air surveys.
Inject a verb
Sometimes it helps to replace commentary with action.
The change in metal reduces weight, but only at the expense of a higher cost of production.
The change in metal reduces weight but increases the cost of production.
Edit your writing by underlining blurry verbs that can be replaced or rewritten.
We need to
this antenna for manufacturing defects.
We should also
form an idea about the value of
its effective radiated power.
The antenna gain drops when
there is a change in the polarity of the radio wave.
Our new design increases performance
for a more attractive
cost of production.
Lesson: Spot-On Verbs 2
Module: Engaging Action
Course: Clear Technical Writing