Use Active Verbs

Replace “be” verbs with verbs that are more dynamic.

Not so good:

Angel Quinones is in jail for killing his fiancée’s parents.

Better:

Yesterday, police arrested Angel Quinones for killing his fiancée’s parents.

Not so good:

Last week, the bodies of Cecelia and Carlos Ruiz were in their apartment, and their daughter’s fiancé Angel Quinones was a suspect.

Better:

Last week, police discovered the bodies of Cecelia and Carlos Ruiz in their apartment. They immediately suspected Angel Quinones, the dead couple’s future son-in-law.

Fix:

Quinones was a suspect because he was allegedly in the Ruiz’s apartment the night before and was not at work the next day.

Choose subjects that names a person or a thing doing action

Bad:

The next day, the suspect turned himself in at the local precinct and was charged with two counts of murder.

Better:

The next day, Quinones turned himself in at the 7th Precinct and was charged with two counts of murder.

Bad:

The victims had been brutally beaten, and police think the suspect may have used a weapon to bludgeon them before choking them.

Better:

The couple had been brutally beaten, and police think that Quinones may have used a cooking pot to bludgeon them before choking them.

Fix:
Insert the following in the appropriate places: “Amber Sadiq,” “wrongful death.”

The family of an 8 year old girl who was killed by a runaway school bus in May, will file a lawsuit against the city.

Avoid passive constructions.
Use active verbs whenever appropriate.

Poor:

A sixth straight Mustard Belt was won by Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi after 53.75 hot dogs were chowed down. Kobayashi was called the “Bun-Zai” Warrior by the New York Post while it was reported by the Daily News the second place finish of hot dog scarfer, American Joey Chestnut who ate 52 hot dogs, was blamed on the Coney Island humidity

Better:

Takeru “The Tsunami” Kobayashi won his sixth straight Mustard Belt, after chowing down 53.75 hot dogs. The New York Post called Kobayashi the “Bun-Zai Warrior” while the Daily News reports that second place hot dog scarfer, American Joey Chestnut, who ate 52 hot dogs, blamed the Coney Island humidity on falling back.

the-tsunami.jpg

Fix:

1. Enron was built by Ken Lay into a high-profile, widely admired company, the seventh-largest publicly traded in the country. But Enron collapsed after it was revealed by auditors that the company’s finances were based on a web of fraudulent partnerships and schemes.

2. As we walked around the gallery, was treated politely by Brad and his girlfriend, but I was sure that I was secretly hated by them and that was being given this tour because it was hoped by them to see me separated from my money.

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