Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lesson Seven: Concision

Lesson Seven: Concision

This chapter talks about how even though you might think your paper is clear because you have matched characters with subjects and actions with verbs, it probably still isn’t clear to the reader. There are five principles to consider when making your writing more concise; deleting words that mean little or nothing, deleting words that repeat the meaning of other words, deleting words implied by other words, replacing a phrase with a word, and changing negatives to affirmatives. Deleting meaningless words includes those like “kind of” “really” “generally” etc. It is also important to delete what readers can infer on their own. You write clearer when you use only the minimum amount of words needed to say what you mean. It also talks about metadiscourse and how it is needed in everything that you write because it guides readers through your writing. Common metadiscourse is “first, second, or therefore” as well as “perhaps, seems, and could”. You just have to remember not to use it too often.

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