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  1. #1
    yoocj is offline Newbie
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    Default Too many "to be" verbs...revision ideas?

    This is the first four sentences of my essay:
    In the wake of the global financial crisis, firms are struggling to stay afloat. Increasing firm value is the fundamental objective of most corporations. Many large conglomerates were formed in the 1960s and 1970s. Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, many conglomerates were dismantled or fell out of favor with the stock market. It appeared that the costs of diversification were greater than the benefits obtained.

    Since this is my introduction, I think it needs to have more impact and use fewer "to be" verbs. However, I am not sure how. I would love to learn how to improve this part. Thank you so much!

  2. #2
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    Smile Re: Too many "to be" verbs...revision ideas?

    I guess what you are trying to say in your first four sentences is in the wake of the global financial crisis, firms are trying to focus more on some specific growing industries. Therefore, conglomerate companies such as General Electric, General Motor are out of favor by stock investors.

    You may want to focus on the shift from diversification to specific growing industries. Therefore, I think you can start with introducing conglomerates first, and how the trend changes from diversification to investing in some specific growing industry. It may be helpful to compare two companies such as General Electric with Apple. The first is around for more than one hundred years and is currently out of favor by stock investors. The second is among the best growing company, with market capital around $269 billion, second biggest company in the world behind Exxon Mobil...
    That is just my suggestion about how to capture readers' attention. Let me know what you think.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Too many "to be" verbs...revision ideas?

    Quote Originally Posted by yoocj View Post
    This is the first four sentences of my essay:
    In the wake of the global financial crisis, firms are struggling to stay afloat. Increasing firm value is the fundamental objective of most corporations. Many large conglomerates were formed in the 1960s and 1970s. Then, in the 1980s and 1990s, many conglomerates were dismantled or fell out of favor with the stock market. It appeared that the costs of diversification were greater than the benefits obtained.
    Abstract noun phrases tend to go with 'to be' verbs. Besides, the phrase 'increasing firm value' is ambiguous as between the present participle and the gerund, until the word 'objective' makes it clear; this is a long time to wait: more than half the sentence has gone by before the reader knows what it's about!.

    For the 2nd sentence I would start 'Most firms try/want...'. But otherwise you could say 'The fundamental objective of most corporations is to increase their value.' This has the added benefit of avoiding the ambiguous 'firm values' (less trivial than it might seem, as in financial jargon it is common to refer to 'firm values' - meaning 'values that don't fluctuate').

    The 5th could be 'To many companies, the costs of d. seemed to outweigh the benefits.'

    Sorry - I've no time for more. But the 1st sentence reads OK to me, and this should be enough to get you started on rewriting the rest.

    b

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