Writing Sample

General Editing

     A client often asks me to edit a draft that lacks clarity and directness. Here's an example:

Original:

     Furniture sales and marketing is a substantial industry in the United States. It is estimated that there are more than 20,000 furniture sales representatives employed in this country. The sales representative is considered the most important piece of the marketer’s tool kit. Prior to 1995, the bulk of the furniture marketing budget was allocated to the sales force. Salesmen targeted their activities to major retail and discount stores.

Revision:

     The marketing and selling of furniture has created a multimillion-dollar industry. According to Jones (2011), U.S. furniture companies employ more than 20,000 sales representatives, whom management regards as the industry’s most effective marketing tool. Before 1995, marketing and sales focused on selling furniture to major retail and discount stores, allocating the bulk of marketing budgets for salaries of sales representatives. 

Analysis:

The writer of the original passage used ineffective verbs throughout, principally forms of the verb to be. The wheels of writing turn very slowly when using weak verbs. This passage also includes weak subjects (e.g., it, bulk). Rewriting with substantive subjects and active verbs creates a clear and direct paragraph.

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