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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

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. 

90 of 91 students recommendSee All

Professor Koerber did a good job demonstrating ... WHOOPS. I mean... Professor Koerber showed helpful examples in this lecture by rewriting sentences with weak and dead verbs.
Loved the content and length of this video! Please create more!
This is a fantastic class that I took with limited time. Fortunately the content is significant and will enhance my future writing. Time well spent.

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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 Ryerson University in Toronto, 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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