Concision Rides Again (6 of 12): ‘Circling Paragraphs’

concision rides again 6 of 12 circling paragraphs

Concision Rides Again (6 of 12): ‘Circling Paragraphs’

We will now look at concision in a bigger way: by looking at the whole paragraph (rather than just at the sentence level). Lack of concision here often relates to the design of the paragraph – and correct paragraph design is very important in IELTS Task-Two Writing.

Go to my IELTS Writing Task Two book, Tip 15: ‘Organise Your Paragraphs’. On Page 116 [2nd edition] or 124 [3rd edition], you will see that it mentions, ‘even if there is one clear topic, which is supported, there can still be problems inside the paragraph.’

The book then gives two examples of ‘circling’ paragraphs – that is, paragraphs which just repeat, and repeat, and repeat the same thoughts. The section concludes by saying ..

These paragraphs do not go anywhere. Look at  …

IELTS Task Response 5 = Ideas not developed enough

… and …

IELTS Coherence & Cohesion 5 = May have unclear progression.

We want to move far away from these, right? So, ideas need to be developed and show progression.

‘Circling paragraph’ are common, and responsible for low IELTS scores. In the rest of these ‘concision’ posts, I’ll look specifically at this problem, and show you how to fix it. Remember, this is very important for your IELTS mark.

Try making the following paragraph more concise.

Cut them all out to just leave the main message remaining.

Can you then continue the paragraph in a better way?

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]

The answers will be given and explained in the next post.

Answers to Concision Rides Again (5 of 12)


From 2004 to 2014, the number of passengers has a moderate growth. It starts at less than 48 in 2004, and is almost 80 in 2014. [26 words]

… becomes …

From 2004 to 2014, the number of passengers grows from 48 to 80. [13 words]


Not only does online shopping cross the obstacle of space, it also can overcome the barrier of time. [18 words]

… becomes …

Online shopping overcomes the barriers of time and space. [9 words]


An example can certainly be made here. Look at the shopping website, Ebay. It provides … [15 words]

… becomes …

For example, Ebay provides … [4 words]

Ebay is such a well-known example that it doesn’t need an introduction ‘shopping website’.


He was blamed for raping and murdering a child, but the evidence later proved that he was not the one who committed the crime. [24 words]

… becomes …

He was wrongly blamed for raping and murdering a child. [10 words]


Most people expect their children to marry because of the traditional concepts of life. [14 words]

… becomes …

Traditionally, most people expect their children to marry. [8 words]


For example, the mass school shooting in Florida caused many innocent students to lose their lives. [16 words]

… becomes …

For example, the mass school shooting in Florida. [8 words]

The part ‘caused many innocent students to lose their lives’ is contained in the noun phrase ‘mass school shooting’.

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