Let’s do ‘Concision’ Again, Okay? (13 of 16)

By | August 21, 2019

trimming a hedge.jpg

Let’s do ‘Concision’ Again, Okay? (13 of 16)

Let us use this post to ‘fix’ the ‘overwritten paragraphs’ from the previous post, Post 12. Remember, we want it to be as trim and neat and clear as the hedge in the above picture.

Here is the original first paragraph.

Overwritten Paragraph

However, in most cases, the innocent people do not have any interest in owning weapons. As a result, the right of gun possession will presumably open the door for those gun enthusiasts who only have the intention to make use of these devices to commit a crime. Therefore, a legalisation of gun ownership would not reduce the crime rate or the many misfortunes caused by a crime – in fact, it would do quite the opposite. It will almost certainly only worsen the case. [83 words]

I will change this to …

However, gun possession inevitably leads to more crime. [8 words]

83 words cut to 8! Huh? Double wow! Why did I do this? Well, read that original paragraph again, and you might realise that it actually says very little (in very many words). Yes, that’s what students write, and that’s why they get low IELTS marks.

I only needed 8 words to give the message, but again, why?

Well, the first sentence…

However, in most cases, the innocent people do not have any interest in owning weapons.

… doesn’t actually say that much, or link to the next sentence, so … don’t write it.

The second sentence…

As a result, the right of gun possession will presumably open the door for those gun enthusiasts who only have the intention to make use of these devices to commit a crime..

… begins to say something: gun possession = more crime.

This can, obviously be said in simpler words as I just wrote above in blue. Let’s turn it into a sentence.

Gun possession leads to more crime.

The third sentence…

Therefore, a legalisation of gun ownership would not reduce the crime rate or the many misfortunes caused by a crime – in fact, it would do quite the opposite..

… doesn’t add anything, and isn’t that clear anyway. It seems to just repeats what was said in the first sentence, so … again, don’t write it.

The final sentence…

It will almost certainly only worsen the case.

… just repeats the original message again. So, we are left with…

Gun possession = more crime.

… which we can re-write a bit more smoothly into the sentence which I gave at the start of this post, namely:

However, gun possession inevitably leads to more crime. [8 words]

Well, 8 words is not a paragraph, so we really need to build this up, right. Do you remember how to do it? Tip 16 of my book (‘Include Specific Support’) mentions a simple way to think.

Approach

1

Why?

2

Result/

Consequence

3

General Example

4

Specific Example

Can you try these approaches, and rebuild the sentence into a paragraph? The next post will show you a possible answer.

By the way, you can learn more about me at   www.aisielts.com .

Author: Andrew

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