Being new to this forum... I'm hoping no one will take this the wrong way... I just wish someone had mentioned this to me back when I was in high school, instead of years later... and thought maybe I'd share it in hopes that it might help someone else. My college English professor would be so proud of me right this second... as he once had to brow beat an entire class into conforming. This piece of advice alone changed my writing immensely! THANK YOU MR. DOOM! http://www.unc.edu/~dcderosa/Draftworkshops/tobeverbs.html Taken from the above link... which I would recommend everyone taking a peak at... it includes the list of verbs... example sentences rewritten... and an interesting exercise to help in getting rid of the To Be verbs in your own work. Common To Be verbs that should be avoided as much as possible! Am Are Is Was Were Be Become Became I'm not saying don't ever use them... but using them less, as my Professor once said, can make a dramatic difference to your story, paper, article... whatever you're writing. I hope this helps everyone as much as it did me! Although I still struggle with it, it's truly worth the effort to take a look! Happy writing!