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How to write effectively

Welcome to this journey on how to write effectively

Purpose of this program

If you want to excel in research, and indeed in your career, perhaps the most important skill to develop is the capacity to write precisely, concisely, professionally, and engagingly.  After you complete the exercises in this program, you will not only achieve this goal.  You will also

  • save time; for instance, you will not have to redraft sentences many times, and
  • enjoy, rather than dread, writing

Did you know

You can write more effectively and convincingly if you

  • avoid the word it and always insert a noun after the word this
  • replace hazy verbs, such as make, take, get, and give, with specific alternatives
  • use the terms lack, impact, and there sparingly and carefully
  • condense tautologies, such as summarise briefly, to more concise alternatives, such as summarise
  • insert one sentence in each paragraph that outlines the key purpose or argument of this paragraph
  • apply the many other simple principles this program will demonstrate


This program comprises 11 sets or levels of exercises.  You should attempt each exercise in sequence and record your answers in the attached Working Document. You should at least start, even if you do not complete, each exercise before you shift to the next exercise.  You might:

  • dedicate a block of two to four weeks to this entire program
  • dedicate between two and four hours a week to this program, but over a longer period.

The materials you collate in this document can then be used to write your drafts in the future.  Consequently, although the exercises might demand significant time to complete, you will be forging significant progress on your research during this time.

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