Let’s do ‘Concision’ Again, Okay? (7 of 16)

By | July 30, 2019

trimming a hedge.jpg

Let’s do ‘Concision’ Again, Okay? (7 of 16)

Okay, we continue with another exercises about concision. Remember, you need to make your writing as trim, neat, and defined as that hedge in the picture shown above. That means doing some work, as that lady is the picture is doing, to think before you write, to cut away words and phrases that repeat, are unnecessary, or unclear.

Let us use this post to ‘fix’ the first ‘overwritten paragraph’ from Post 6. Here is the original paragraph, I.

Overwritten paragraph I

One reason I think it is not appropriate is because if everyone has a gun, then there will be more crimes, and the rate of firearm-related deaths will be elevated. Many studies in public society has showed that the firearm-related death ratio is directly correlated with gun ownership, and it also involves homicide and suicide. For example, the US is the country which has both the highest rate of gun ownership and firearms-related death, and that just proves the studies as well. [83 words]

I will change this to ….

One reason is that guns increase both homicide and suicide, as can be seen in the US. [17 words]

Huh? I cut so much out! Why? Because the first sentence …

One reason I think it is not appropriate is because if everyone has a gun, then there will be more crimes, and the rate of firearm-related deaths will be elevated.

… just means there will be more homocide and suicide (and this is said later). The second sentence …

Many studies in public society has showed that the firearm-related death ratio is directly correlated with gun ownership, and it also involves homicide and suicide.

… just repeats the fact that there will be more homicide and suicide, but with a lot of unnecessary words. Let’s just use the ‘homocide and suicide’ part, since it is good vocabulary. The third sentence…

For example, the US is the country which has both the highest rate of gun ownership and firearms-related death, and that just proves the studies as well.

… mentions the US as an example, which is good, but that’s all you need to mention, and this could be concisely combined with previous part, giving …

One reason is that guns increase both homicide and suicide, as can be seen in the US. [17 words]

83 words cut to 17! Wow! That first paragraph had so much unnecessary stuff. What about the second?

Overwritten paragraph II

Another significant problem is the increasing housing price. To live in a new place, people have to rent or buy a house; however, due to the limited amount of land, which cannot accommodate so many people, the price of housing shows a dramatic incline. A good example is happening in Hong Kong, which has the smallest amount of land but the greatest number of people who are living there. This has made the housing price become unaffordable for most citizens. [80 words]

I will change this to ….

Another problem is housing prices, which, due to the limited amount of land, shows a dramatic incline. A good example is Hong Kong, which has little land, but many people, making the housing price unaffordable for many. [37 words]

.. or ..

Another problem is housing prices, which, due to the limited amount of land, shows a dramatic incline. A good example is Hong Kong, where the housing price are unaffordable for many. [31 words]

Huh? I cut so much out! Why? Because the start of the second sentence …

To live in a new place, people have to rent or buy a house;

… is too obvious to need saying, and the first two sentences repeat a lot of content …

Increasing housing price = price of housing shows a dramatic incline.

The example given is overwritten, and could be cut to 20 (first paragraph) or 14 (second paragraph) words.

So, there you go. 83 words to 17, and 80 words to 31. The first example has the most cutting. It is now just …

One reason is that guns increase both homicide and suicide, as can be seen in the US. [17 words]

But now, let’s consider how to continue this sentence, and build a real paragraph in a strong and convincing way. Tip 16 of my book (‘Include Specific Support’) mentions a simple way to think, and we will look at that in the next post.

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