How Dead Verbs are Killing your Writing

Duncan Koerber, University Professor

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5 Videos (24m)
    • Introduction

      3:27
    • Concrete Verbs

      5:32
    • Weak Verbs

      4:38
    • Dead Verbs

      5:01
    • Dead Verbs — Consequences

      4:54
25 students are watching this class

About This Class

Like zombies, dead verbs are lurking in your fiction, creative non-fiction, work, and school writing — and it's time to eliminate them. Take this short course, which will help you understand the importance of verbs, from the author of Clear, Precise, Direct: Strategies for Writing (Oxford University Press, 2015). 

Verbs are the lifeblood of writing, but some verbs are better than others. Learn which verbs are most effective, which are weak, and which are fully dead and contributing nothing. 

Introducing more good verbs to your writing can help avoid two things readers dislike: generalizations and a lack of forward movement. 

159 of 160 students recommendSee All

Excellent points on weak verbs. Looking forward to checking out all of his other writing videos.
I gained valuable information from this video. The teacher uses clear, easy to follow examples. This is a positive step in improving my writing.
An excellent primer on understanding verbs. Duncan Koerber breaks down the difference between concrete, weak and dead verbs, and offers tips and techniques on how to strengthen your writing with strong verbs in mind.

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Duncan Koerber

University Professor

Dr. Duncan Koerber has taught writing and communications courses for the past 10 years at six Canadian universities to thousands of students.

Currently a full-time assistant professor at Brock University in Ontario, Canada, Duncan Koerber worked for nearly 10 years in reporting and editing roles for the London Free Press, the Mississauga News, and the University of Toronto Medium. He has freelanced for magazines and newspapers, including the Toronto Star.

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