Is your writing flabby or fit?

I tried out the WritersDiet Test . Here are my results…
My overall score : Fit and trim (whish I could say the same about myself)

verbs Fit and trim
nouns Lean
prepositions Fit and trim
adjectives/adverbs Lean
it, this, that, there Lean

No improvements needed

Your writing sample contains relatively low percentages of be-verbs, abstract nouns, prepositions, adjectives/adverbs, and waste words (it, this, that, there). To continue producing energetic prose, follow the WritersDiet principles below.

Key principles

Verbal verve
Limit be-verbs (is, was, are, were, be, been) to no more than a few per paragraph. Favor strong, specific, robust action verbs (scrutinize, dissect, capture) over weak, vague, lazy ones (have, do, show). Steer clear of passive verb constructions (it has been demonstrated) except when used for
stylistic effect.
Noun density
Anchor abstract ideas in concrete language and illustrate theoretical concepts using real-life examples. (Show, don’t just tell!) Avoid overdependence on nominalizations: long, important-sounding nouns formed from verbs or adjectives (overdependence, nominalizations, pretentiousness).
Prepositional podge
Avoid long strings of prepositional phrases, especially when they drive nouns and verbs apart (“The principle of keeping nouns and verbs as close to each other as possible for the benefit of readers has many benefits”).
Employ adjectives and adverbs only when they contribute new information to a sentence; get your nouns and verbs to do most of your descriptive work.
Waste words: it, this, that, there
Employ it and this only when you can state exactly what noun each word refers to; avoid using that more than once in a single sentence or three times in a paragraph, except in parallel constructions; and beware of sweeping generalizations that begin with There.
Important: The WritersDiet Test offers an automated diagnosis, not a subtle stylistic analysis or a prescriptive personal judgment. For best results, use the test together with The Writer’s Diet (Sword 2007), which discusses stylistic nuances and exceptions that the WritersDiet Test cannot address.

Text excerpted from H. Sword (2007) The Writer’s Diet Pearson Education NZ.


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