Hammer, skulk, sneer, plummet, crinkle, whip, thrill…

What is the title of this post made up of?

Yes!  It is full of STRONG VERBS!

Here is what one teacher thinks about writing without strong verbs:

“After reading 2300 papers that averaged 7 verbs each, I wanted to suck out my brain with the plunger I found lying in the custodial closet. Seconds before engulfing my face with rubberized fecal matter, my colleague down the hall recommended I teach students how to write with strong verbs. Thinking it a better alternative than plunging my brain and flushing it down the toilet in the custodian’s closet, I decided to give it a try.”  (modified excerpt taken from http://www.brighthubeducation.com, written by Trent Lorcher)

Can you pick out a few strong verbs from this teachers opinion?  Here’s a hint:

Click here to read the article from which I copied this picture.  I suspect you will find it funny (AND full of strong verbs)!

Weak verbs suck the life out of an essay.  Strong verbs grip the reader, creating a picture your audience can inhabit.

Activity:  Try coming up with three different verbs that could replace ran or walked; said; and put (ie. to put something somewhere).  Click here if your are stuck– this page contains lists of strong verbs you can use in your writing.

Finally, remember that labouring over your word choice and searching for strong verbs is part of the editing process.  I do not expect you to come up with flashy verbs on your first draft; if you try this you may end up losing momentum and staring into space instead of moving your pencil.  Instead, grab a peer and go through your rough copy together, keeping on eye out for weak verbs you can exchange for strong ones.

**********Bonus points offered below****************************

PS.  I am offering bonus points if you can tell me the number of strong verbs in your rule essay!!  Leave a comment, or hand me a note in class, with the number and your name on it.


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