Writing Coaching Blog

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Affect with an a is (usually) a verb. Think of affect as influencing the feelings of an individual.  For instance, many theater goers find the play Romeo and Juliet to affect their sensibilities.  Historically, affect was associated with psychiatry in the 14th - 15th centuries to understand mental illness. Effect with an e is (usually) a noun. Effect is the result of an action or phenomena.  One way to remember this is by the common phrase "cause and effect."  For example, caffeine has no effect on me.
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Often there is a perfectly good verb buried in a noun, especially words ending in -tion, -ison, -ment, -ence, -ance, -ity.  These are easy to spot and revise.  Consider, for example, this sentence:  "After the scientists undertook a study of the fossils, they made a change in their theory."  This sentence is wordy and cumbersome.  Consider this version:  "After the scientists studied the fossils, they changed their theory."  Note the difference?  The verb studied replaces the noun phrase "undertook a study of" and the verb changed replaces the noun phrase "made a change." Noun forms require extra words that weigh down your sentences.  So, rather... Continued

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