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Power of ‘To Be’ — Reduce passive voice

I designed this to efficiently discuss the problem of overusing forms of ‘to be’ in writing.

I aim the lesson at the conscious use of the verb to emphasize the writer’s opinion. The ‘to be’ verb (am, is, was, were, are, be, being, been) very easily slips into our writing and causes wiggly phrasing that can lead unclear sentences — unless we tame the verb and use it to our advantage.

This lesson will provide guidance and examples to help students maintain a focus on their ideas and how they can improve the articulation of those ideas with three exercises: connecting the subject to the appropriate action, inviting the reader closer by offering a story, and by consciously using a ‘to be’ verb to underline a main idea.

— Bryan Sanders