Academic writing tip: read it out loud

It’s hard to read your own writing critically, but it’s something you’ll have to do. One way to make it easier is to read your work out loud.

This has two advantages.

First, it slows you down. You can’t skim over text as quickly when you have to speak the words, and this makes it easier to spot typos, repetition and other such mistakes.

Second, it transforms writing from a bunch of words on a page into actual sounds. Writing is, in essence, a form of idealised speech, and good writers know how to use the sound and rhythm of a sentence to get their message across.

That requires, of course, a high level of skill. The first step towards developing that skill is simply paying attention.

See also:

Balance: How to write a thesis the examiner wants to read

How to tame your inner writing critic


4 thoughts on “Academic writing tip: read it out loud”

  1. Hi Hayton !

    Reading your emails is in a class by itself. Thank You. I unsubscribe from everyone, else concepts because the understanding that I have gain from your concepts is the key to success with relevant prompts are very helpful.


  2. I really enjoy receiving your emails while writing up my thesis. Thank you. I unsubscribe from everyone, but your concise emails with simple relevant prompts are very helpful. Thanks.

  3. One feature I like in MS Word is ‘Speech’ or ‘Read back’, cant remember exactly what it is called. Sometimes even reading it out loud is different to hearing it back.

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