Writing Concise Sentences


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Sentence Empowerment

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Writing Concise Sentences

  2. 2. <ul><li>A sentence is not concise simply because it is short; a concise sentence contains only the number of words necessary to achieve its effect or to make its point. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Eliminating Nonessential Words <ul><li>One way to find out which words are essential to the meaning of a sentence is to underline the key words. Then, look carefully at the remaining words so that you can see which are unnecessary and delete them. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Nonessential Word Categories: <ul><li>Deadwood </li></ul><ul><li>Utility Words </li></ul><ul><li>Circumlocution </li></ul>
  5. 5. Deadwood <ul><li>Unnecessary phrases that take up space and add nothing to meaning. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Example of Deadwood <ul><li>Wordy: There were many factors that influenced his decision to become a teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Concise: Many factors influenced his decision to become a teacher. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Another Example of Deadwood <ul><li>Wordy: They played a softball game that was exhausting. </li></ul><ul><li>Concise: They played an exhausting softball game. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Some familiar expressions that are Deadwood <ul><li>I feel </li></ul><ul><li>I think </li></ul><ul><li>It seems to me </li></ul><ul><li>All things considered </li></ul><ul><li>Without a doubt </li></ul><ul><li>It is important to note </li></ul><ul><li>In my opinion </li></ul><ul><li>The reason why </li></ul><ul><li>In conclusion </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Deadwood distracts, annoys the reader and weakens your writing style. </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate and empower. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Utility Words <ul><li>Fillers that contribute nothing to a sentence. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Examples of Utility Words to Eliminate or Replace <ul><li>Nouns with imprecise meanings: </li></ul><ul><li>Factor </li></ul><ul><li>Situation </li></ul><ul><li>Kind </li></ul><ul><li>Type </li></ul><ul><li>Aspect </li></ul><ul><li>Sort </li></ul><ul><li>Area </li></ul>
  12. 12. Common Adverbs Denoting Degree <ul><li>Basically </li></ul><ul><li>Very </li></ul><ul><li>Definitely </li></ul><ul><li>Quite </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminate and Empower </li></ul>
  13. 13. Circumlocution <ul><li>Taking a roundabout way to say something (using ten words when five will do) is called Circumlocution. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Circumlocution Remedy <ul><li>Instead of using complicated phrases and rambling constructions, you should use concrete, specific words and phrases and come right to the point. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other Weak Sentence Issues: <ul><li>Use of unnecessary repetition of same word or phrase </li></ul><ul><li>Creating run-on sentences that make the reader go “whew!” </li></ul><ul><li>Creating fragmented sentences that are incomplete and ineffectual. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Word Choice <ul><li>Your choice of diction must be appropriate to your audience. </li></ul><ul><li>College-level research papers, an examination, or a report calls for the use of Formal diction. </li></ul><ul><li>Informal diction—language used in daily conversation. Should be used in college writing to imitate speech or dialect or give a paper a conversational tone—used in personal-experience writing. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Choosing the Right Word <ul><li>Watch out for overused phrases or words—Cliches </li></ul><ul><li>Watch out for pretentious diction—inappropriate and elevated words. </li></ul><ul><li>Use concrete words, rather than abstract words whenever possible. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Abstract Word Examples <ul><li>Beauty </li></ul><ul><li>Truth </li></ul><ul><li>Good </li></ul><ul><li>Nice </li></ul><ul><li>Great </li></ul><ul><li>Terrific </li></ul><ul><li>All refer to ideas, qualities, or conditions that cannot be perceived by the senses. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Concrete Words <ul><li>Convey a vivid picture by naming things that readers can see, hear, taste, smell, or touch. </li></ul><ul><li>The more concrete your words and phrases, the more vivid the image you evoke in the reader. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Avoid Biased Language <ul><li>Offensive labels referring to a racial, ethnic, gender, or religious group turns off any reader. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid offensive labels referring to age, class, geography, occupation, marital status, physical ability or sexual orientation. </li></ul>
  21. 21. And Finally, A Quote… <ul><li>“ A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.” William Strunk </li></ul>