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Brevity in Police Reports

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Learn why brevity is so important to police reports - and review tips for avoiding unnecessary wordiness.

Published in: Career, Education, Lifestyle
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Brevity in Police Reports

  1. 1. Brevity in Police Reports by Jean Reynolds, Ph.D.
  2. 2. Brevity in Police Reports by Jean Reynolds, Ph.D.
  3. 3. “Brevity” is a term you probably didn’t hear much in your English classes in school...
  4. 4. …but it’s vital to good police writing.
  5. 5. There are three reasons why brevity is so important.
  6. 6. 1. Unnecessary words waste time.
  7. 7. 2. Long-winded reports can be confusing.
  8. 8. 3. Wordy reports make you sound old-fashioned and out-of-date.
  9. 9. Here are some tips about brevity in police reports.
  10. 10. Use normal, everyday language.
  11. 11. Don’t waste time with words that don’t do any work.
  12. 12. Take a look at these examples:
  13. 13. Don’t pad your writing with useless words.
  14. 14. Clumsy wording slows you down when you’re writing—and reading.
  15. 15. Avoid repetition: I asked Carson why he didn’t have any ID with him. He said he never takes his wallet when he walks his dog. I asked where his wallet was. He said it was at home on the nightstand next to his bed. I said I needed to see it. He said I could walk to his house with him and his dog, and he would show me his driver’s license.
  16. 16. This version is more concise: Carson told me he never takes his wallet when he walks his dog. His wallet was at home on the nightstand next to his bed. He said I could walk to his house with him and his dog, and he would show me his driver’s license.
  17. 17. You can learn more about brevity at www.YourPoliceWrite.com.
  18. 18. All the resources there are FREE: www.YourPoliceWrite.com.
  19. 19. And if you’re looking for a low-cost, practical book…
  20. 20. Criminal Justice Report Writing is available from www.Amazon.com for just $19.95. View a free sample online.
  21. 21. An e-book edition is available from www.Smashwords.com for only $9.99.
  22. 22. A discount price is available for class sets (minimum five books). A free Instructor’s Manual is available for instructors and administrators. Send an e-mail request from your official account to jreynoldswrite at aol.com.

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