Yes, it’s Back to Concision, Again (14 of 30): Answer to ‘Circling Paragraph’ 13 of 30

By | October 10, 2018

14. spiral.jpg

Yes, it’s Back to Concision, Again (14 of 30): Answer to ‘Circling Paragraph’ 13 of 30

Remember, we are now looking at concision in a bigger way: by looking at the whole paragraph (rather than just at the sentence level). In the previous post, I introduced ‘circling’ paragraphs. These are paragraphs that just go in circles and repeat the same thing. Consider the above picture – it circles, but it is going somewhere. Actually, it would be better if it went somewhere in a straight line! In the previous post, I mentioned that …

IELTS Task Response 5 = Ideas not developed enough

… and …

IELTS Coherence & Cohesion 5 = May have unclear progression.

No one wants an IELTS 5, right? Let’s look at the original paragraph from the previous post, and cut all the circling stuff out of it, and turn it into a straight line.

Although smoking has its advantages, the negative aspects which influence so many people cannot be ignored by society. Many governments are trying hard to reduce the amount of smoking that exists in their countries by enacting laws to combat this issue. A very common way is tax mark-up for products related to smoking. In my country Taiwan, if you want to buy a pack of cigarettes, you have to pay the tax which is equal to 15% of the original sales price.

[82 words]

I will cut this to ….

One way to reduce smoking is to use tax-mark-ups, which are 15% in my country for tobacco-related products.

[18 words]

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

Although smoking has its advantages, the negative aspects which influence so many people cannot be ignored by society.

… was a junk sentence which says nothing. The second sentence …

Many governments are trying hard to reduce the amount of smoking that exists in their countries by enacting laws to combat this issue.

… is still general, and doesn’t say enough to be worth writing. The third sentence…

A very common way is tax mark-up for products related to smoking.

… finally makes a point, and this could be concisely combined with the last sentence.

In my country Taiwan, if you want to buy a pack of cigarettes, you have to pay the tax which is equal to 15% of the original sales price.

… giving …

One way to reduce smoking is to use tax-mark-ups, which are 15% in my country for tobacco-related products.

[18 words]

82 words cut to 18! Wow! That’s less than a quarter of the first paragraph, which really shows that it had so much unnecessary stuff. But now, let’s consider how to continue this new sentence, and build a real paragraph in a strong and convincing way – in other words, to extend this thought in a straight and direct line. 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