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polishing a white paper draft

Quick Tip: My favorite way to polish a draft

Read it out loud.

That quickly reveals any awkward phrases or run-on sentences.

To me, reading out loud is the absolute best way to revise a white paper draft.

But it can be awkward to read a draft to yourself and try to make changes at the same time.

There’s a simple solution…

Did you know that Word can read your drafts back to you?

Read Aloud icon in Word


If you have Microsoft 365, go to the Review Ribbon in Word, then click Read Aloud.

The software starts reading in a robotic voice from the cursor.


Read Aloud settings in Word


You can control the voice by clicking the gear icon on the right.

My favorite voice is Samantha.

And I always adjust the speed to be a little faster than the default.

I find those two tweaks give the most natural-sounding voice.


This feature has been available since Office 2019, but many writers still don’t know it’s there.

So if you’ve never tried Read Aloud, check it out today.


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About Gordon Graham

Worked on 320+ white papers for clients from Silicon Valley to Switzerland, on everything from choosing enterprise software to designing virtual worlds for kids, for clients from tiny startups to 3M, Google, and Verizon. Wrote White Papers for Dummies which earned 60+ 5-star ratings on Amazon. Won 16 awards from the Society for Technical Communication. Named AWAI 2019 Copywriter of the Year.

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