How Dead Verbs are Killing your Writing Premium class

Duncan Koerber, University Professor

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
5 Videos (24m)
    • Introduction

    • Concrete Verbs

    • Weak Verbs

    • Dead Verbs

    • Dead Verbs — Consequences


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. 

35 of 35 students recommendSee All

Great class! Especially useful for fiction writers.
Excellent course.
Loved this class. Duncan explains the topic really well. I will definitely re-watch it again to let the material really sink in =)
Mariya Popandopulo






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.

Oxford University Press recently published his writing textbook, Clear, Precise, Direct: Strategies for Writing (2015). Available on Amazon, the book considers the seven most common errors (interfering factors) in writing and how to improve them (enhancing factors). His second book, Crisis Communication in Canada, is in the revision process for University of Toronto Press.

Duncan Koerber has been a successful freelance editor, reaching the top 0.01% of editors on Elance. Now, his freelance editing and proofreading agency on Upwork is in the "top rated" category.

Duncan Koerber has a bachelor of arts degree in English, Professional Writing, and Political Science from the University of Toronto (2001), a master of arts degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario (2003), and a Ph.D. in Communication and Culture from York University and Ryerson University (2009).

His academic writing, which focuses on media and journalism history, writing pedagogy, and public relations crisis communication, has been published in the Canadian Journal of Communication, the Journal of Canadian Studies, Journalism History, Media History, Composition Studies, Canadian Journal of Media Studies, and Sport History Review.