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Frequently Used Phrases in Your Work

Last week, I found out about a tool that will show you the most frequently used phrases in your work.  Though designed for small documents, I pasted my current version of my manuscript in and found the tool needed only a few seconds.

The WriteWords Phrase Frequency Counter is designed to help writers identify their most frequently used phrases.  This way, you can look at each use to ensure you’re not overusing the phrase.

In my manuscript, I found that I used the phrase “for a moment” 45 times–almost once every four manuscript pages!  By understanding the phrases I overuse, I can change them to alternatives so that I don’t bore my readers.

The tool defaults to using two word phrases.  I think that’s too short, so I used a minimum of three words as my boundary.  This returned much more useful results.

What other tools do you use?  Do you find that you overuse certain phrases?  How do you avoid doing so?

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