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Hi. I’m Erik Davis of the Religious Studies Department and this microlecture is about all of the forms of the word “to be”. Get rid of them everywhere you can. Consider the sentence, it was an excellent reading. Did the reading stimulate new ideas or provoke excitement? If so, then say so. Use more verbs and fewer passive statements of identity. Eliminating is will also help strengthen your thinking and enliven your writing. It also identifies the source of any judgements. It was an excellent reading becomes I enjoyed this reading. This sentence begins to tell us why you rated this writing so highly. Getting rid of is in your writing will make your writing and your thinking clearer and more enjoyable. You won’t eliminate all examples, but every one you do will make a difference. Good luck, and write well.