I take leave of my customary topics today to sing the praises of WordRake, new (to me) software. Thanks go to Editor-in-Chief of the ABA’s Law Practice magazine, Sheila Blackford, who told me about WordRake. Out of curiosity, I used it to edit a PUBLISHED article I had written for the magazine. I was dumbfounded when the software quickly provided an embarrassing number of edits of my 6 page article, more than 90% of which I agreed with.
WordRake fundamentally consists of a set of rules designed to cut flabby verbiage from your writing. Even good authors (and I have a club ring!) clearly can use some editing. Even my editors missed most of what WordRake found.
A note to law schools: WordRake could be part of the solution to the “writing crisis” I wrote about in the current Law Practice issue: Why Can’t Law School Graduates Write? Law students need to get the message that to be a good writer you have to be a good editor. WordRake can help.
To be sure, it’s not perfect. The founders purposely do not include an “Accept All” button because they know we can never tame the infinite variety and positioning of words. You have to approve each edit. Because of that, I wouldn't use it for casual writing. But for articles or any other writing that was significant, I sure would.
WordRake’s creator, Gary Kinder, is a lawyer himself, and he’s taught over 1,000 writing programs to firms like Sidley and Jones Day. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. He must use his own program!
For $99 (and do take advantage of the free three day trial), you can't go wrong.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 703-359-0700