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.