Friday, November 13, 2009

Writing Concise Sentences

The grammar site I wrote about last time was:

One of my cohorts in teaching social work students writing and I are in love with this grammar site and we adore this particular page, on “Writing Concise Sentences.” It is a goal of mine to get students to write more concisely, to “omit needless words” as Strunk & White state and to “prune the redundant,” as per this web site. I often tell my students "If you can cut out a word(s) from a sentence and the meaning and grammar of that sentence still hold up, cut out that word(s)."

I am going to give just a few examples of the gems of this page.

Beware of:

Personally, I think: use instead: I think

My personal opinion: use instead: My opinion

Refer back to : use instead: Refer to

Small/large in size: use instead: Small/large

Summarize briefly: use instead: Summarize

The future to come: use instead: The future

Phrases to Omit:

NO: All things considered, cognitive treatment is most effective.

YES: Cognitive treatment is most effective.

NO: As a matter of fact, it showed that all subjects had improvement.

YES: All subjects improved.

NO: Because of the fact that they are minors, teens are subject to fewer penalties.

YES: Teens are subject to fewer penalties.

NO: What I meant to say is that social justice is our primary concern.

YES: Social justice is our primary concern.

NO: Needless to say, this was a big breakthrough.

YES: This was a big breakthrough.

Keep writing! Concisely!

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