Paramedic Method


Writing Skill

  • Duration:
  • Intended for: Individuals
  • Formality: Graded
  • Completes in: 6 steps
  • Comments: 1
  • Materials: 4
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Melody has been teaching developmental writing at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park since 2011, having previously taught composition and developmental writing at Southwestern Illinois College,…

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Assignment Overview

Image Source: CC by Chris Yarzab.

Applying Richard Lanham’s editing & proofreading technique requires students to examine 2 seemingly innocuous sets of words in their writing: prepositions and to be verbs. 

There are widely available variations of this technique all over the web. Here are the basic steps, with some writing samples to illustrate the difference between inactive, preposition-heavy writing, and active, concise writing.

Download a list of prepositions and to be verbs here. Download a PowerPoint presentation with writing samples here.

Required Materials
  • Draft of 500 words or more
  • Highlighter or Microsoft Word
  • Prepositions and To Be List
  • Partners in class
Skills Developed
  • Editing
  • Style
  • Concision
  • Identifying sentence subject
6 Steps to complete

1. Students Draft

2. Find the Prepositions

3. Find the To Be verbs

4. Style Overview

5. Guided Revision

6. Revision Homework

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