Concise Writing and Sentence COMbining

Report
Language affects how we communicate with our audience. If the
sentences are confusing, then meaning is affected and we don’t achieve
our purpose as effectively.

Look carefully at the following sentence. How
would you revise this sentence to express the
idea more concisely? Try to cut the word count
down by half.
 The
point I wish to make about this
matter is that everyone who works
here at this establishment is in
desperate need of a much better
manager of their money and finances.
(word count: 33)
Style & Conventions Seminar #1


Readers generally appreciate clear writing that
gets straight to the point
Concise writing eliminates potential for readers
to get “lost” in your sentence, making them
more likely to truly understand your meaning.


Modifiers add description, but oftentimes are
unnecessary.
A list of modifiers that provide little additional
information to reader:
fine
fine
somewhat
somewhat
quite
quite
lots lots
very
very

many
many
great
great
sortsort
of of
really
really
Determine if you need the word “really” or “very”
to better emphasize your point.


Often introductory phrases are “filler” that stall
your main point.
Get to the point more quickly by eliminating
unnecessary introductory phrases such as:

Practice word economy: use one word rather than
many
Wordy Phrases
Concise Alternatives
At this point in time…
At the present time…
In the not-too-distant future
In close proximity to…
…is necessary that…
…is able to…
…has the ability to…
Due to the fact that…
For the reason that…
In spite of the fact that…
In the event that…
In the final analysis…
In order to…
For the purpose(s) of…
Now
Now
Soon
Near
Must
Can
Can
Because
Because
Although
If
Finally
To
To
Wordy Phrase
Concise Alternative
As a matter of fact
At all times
At that point in time
At this point in time
At the present time
Because of the fact that
By means of
Due to the fact that
In order to
In spite of the fact that
In the event that
Nowadays, in today’s society…
In fact
Always
Then
Now, currently
Now, currently
Because
By
Because
To
Although, though
If
Now


Redundancies are meaningless repetitions that
result in wordiness.
Eliminate common redundancies such as:
•First and foremost
•Full and complete
•Final result
•Past histories
•Round in shape
•Refer back




Students living in close proximity in the dorms
need to cooperate together if they want to live
in harmony.
Students living in close proximity in the dorms
need to cooperate together if they want to live
in harmony.
That film was really hard to watch, but
absolutely worth seeing.
The ending definitely shocked us very much.

Switch essays with a person next to you and
circle unnecessary phrases on the first page:



Modifiers (e.g. very, really, definitely)
Introductory phrases (e.g. there are/is; it has been
said that)
Redundancies (e.g. past history; first and foremost)


Brevity: A good thing in writing.
Six words can tell a story.
The Six-World Memoir: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZOxhHXZW6o
Write your autobiography in six words.

“Not quite what I was planning.”

“Fix a toilet, get paid crap.” (A plumber)

“Couldn’t cope so I wrote songs.” Aimee Mann

“Well, I thought it was funny.” Stephen Colbert

“Forever on the bus to enlightenment”

“Wait, can I do that again?”

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