Duke University Scientific Writing Resource
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Revising your manuscript in 7 steps

  1. Underline all nominalizations. Take a closer look at these words to see if they should be changed to verbs.
  2. For each sentence, ask "what is this sentence about?" Is that the subject of the sentence?
  3. For each sentence, find the part of the sentence that links to the previous sentence. Is it at the beginning or the end of the sentence?
  4. For each paragraph, summarize the main point of the paragraph. Make sure each sentence in the paragraph supports the main point. Check to see if the first sentence and the last sentence discuss the same topic.
  5. Read aloud or use text-to-voice to read your paper. Listen for sentences that lose you.
  6. Give your manuscript to an intelligent outside reader, and ask him where he gets lost.
  7. Do a text search for words or phrases that add little (very, it should be noted, the fact, framework, mechanism, utilize, usage, methodology, methodologies...) (Maybe I'll make an online web form where you can paste your text and it will just highlight words that you should double-check?)


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