Exercise: Maintain a High Verb-to-Noun Ratio

Create a persuasive, dynamic voice by packing your sentences with verbs rather than nominalizations.

You can imbue your language with a sense of vigor by eliminating unnecessary nouns and choosing powerful verbs. When editing, consider changing Latinated nouns–that is, nouns that end with -ance, -ing, -ion, -tion, or -ment into verbs.

Make Your Writing Dynamic: Transform Nouns into Verbs

For example, transform introduction into introduce; commitment, commit; feeling, feel. Changing nouns into verbs can result in a more concise and vigorous passage, as illustrated below:

Sample: The assumption that creative ability has a relationship to intelligence warrants further examination.

Revision: We must examine how creative ability relates to intelligence.

Sample: This introduction is a rough conception of the assumptions about the decision-making process underlying the conception: Decisions about belief or action generally occur in the context of some problem and have some basis.

Revision: We can assume that decisions occur in response to problems.

Remember, when you are writing and trying to be creative, you should not worry about whether or not your words are verbs or nouns. Only after you have written a solid draft should you critically evaluate your use of words.