Answers to Concision 8 of 8 (1st part)

By | October 21, 2017

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Answers to Concision 8 of 8 (Part One)

Here is the original paragraph.

Most people start smoking when they are teenagers and are addicted by that time. It is a bad habit that is difficult to break. There are many different reasons why people smoke. For adolescents, the main reason might be that young people are more susceptible to peer-group pressure, and they often have a distorted thinking about this kind of behavior. They think smoking is cool, and a good way to build the bridge of friendship to other people around them. [80 words]

I will change it to the following.

One reason for smoking among teenagers is the pressure from their peers, who think smoking is ‘cool’.   [17 words]

Analysis

Okay, you’re shocked, right? I changed 80 words to 17? But the fact is that the paragraph was not well written at all. Let’s see why, by analysing each of its sentences.

Most people start smoking when they are teenagers and are addicted by that time.

This sentence is essay background. It was already said in the introduction, so it does not need to be repeated here.

It is a bad habit that is difficult to break.

This just repeats the previous sentence/concept. It is unnecessary.

There are many different reasons why people smoke.

Again, just repeating words. We are going in circles here, but to get an IELTS 7 you need ‘clear progression throughout’.

For adolescents, the main reason might be that young people are more susceptible to peer-group pressure,

‘Adolescents’ repeats ‘people from the previous sentence, and then ‘young people’ repeats them both. Also, isn’t everyone subject to peer-group pressure? Why not just talk about people!

and they often have a distorted thinking about this kind of behavior. They think smoking is cool,

Is the first sentence logical? If all the teenager’s friends think smoking is ‘cool’, then it is cool. It became a fact, because ‘coolness’ is a subjective feeling decided by others. And do we need this sentence? The point is made in the second sentence.

and a good way to build the bridge of friendship to other people around them.

‘Build the bridge of friendship’ is an interesting use of English, but you could just replace the whole parts with, ‘and develops friendships’. However, the whole sentence just repeats the concept already made clear by ‘peer’ and ‘pressure’. Why not say something new?

In the next (and last) post of this series, I’ll re-write the paragraph to be REALLY good.

By the way, go to aisielts.com to get more information and resources to help you get that IELTS 7. 

Author: Andrew

Andrew Guilfoyle Cambridge CELTA, Cambridge DELTA, Cambridge CELTA teacher-trainer, M.Ed