Owl Editing

Owl Editing

Tips for writers

A common error in writing: nominalization

Nominalization is changing a verb into a noun. When you change a verb to a noun, you take the strength away from the sentence. For example, “to conclude” is a specific act but if you are “reaching a conclusion” you’ve eliminated the specific action and replaced it with an all-purpose verb. Instead of “concluding,” the action becomes “reaching.” LOOK FOR such words as: recognition, assumption, formation, protection, realization, destruction, decision, examination and correct the error by changing the word back to a verb that is assigned to a subject.

INSTEAD OF: We reached the conclusion that…
USE: We concluded that…
INSTEAD OF: I am working on the assumption that…
USE: I assume that…

 

 

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