Yes, it’s Back to Concision, Again (20 of 30): Answer to ‘Circling Paragraph’ from 19 of 30

By | October 29, 2018

20. Neat Wiring.jpg

Yes, it’s Back to Concision, Again (20 of 30): Answer to ‘Circling Paragraph’ from 19 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). Let’s keep looking at the paragraph from the previous post, and cut all the circling stuff out of it, and try to make the ‘wiring’ as clear and neat as the above photograph. The original paragraph is …

Of all the causes of smoking that there are, the main one is people face considerable amounts of pressure. Most people in modern society are under a great deal of stress when they work. This stress comes from many sources, such as their supervisors, colleagues, and also customers. Some people will smoke to release their pressure because it is a much quicker way compared to the variety of other methods in society such as exercise or singing.

[77 words]

I will cut this to ….

Of all the causes of smoking, the main one is to relieve pressure. Smoking is quicker than other measures, such as exercise.

[20 words]

Now, that’s clear and neat, right? Just like the above picture. But why did I cut so much out! Why? Well, the first sentence gives the point: ‘pressure’, but it can be more concisely written. However, the second sentence …

Most people in modern society are under a great deal of stress when they work.

… just repeats the first: stress. The next sentence …

This stress comes from many sources, such as their supervisors, colleagues, and also customers

… just repeats the previous, again – being just about ‘stress’. The first part of the next sentence …

Some people will smoke to release their pressure because …

… repeats the ‘stress/pressure’ themes, and then the point is, finally, given

… it is a much quicker way compared to the variety of other methods in society such as exercise or singing.

… although we can make this more concise; simply: ‘Smoking is quicker than other measures, such as exercise.’ (since ‘singing’ is not often done). Putting that all together gives our final results:

Of all the causes of smoking, the main one is to relieve pressure. Smoking is quicker than other measures, such as exercise.

[20 words]

77 words cut to 20. Wow! That first paragraph had so much repetition and unnecessary stuff. 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