Let’s Practice Being Concise (3 of 30): Time to Practise


Let’s Practice Being Concise (3 of 30)

In the previous post, I showed (or proved) that being concise helps give you that ‘clear progression’ in your writing (= IELTS 7). If you make the same point in fewer words, WRITE THOSE WORDS!  You then have time to …

  • move on,
  • say more,
  • and achieve more of the task.

You want complicated ideas (like the night sky) all fitting together in some clear patterns [hence the above picture]. We looked at an example sentence, but now, let’s go a bit further, and look at an example paragraph. Here it is.

Example Two: Paragraph Level

The second example is a whole paragraph, but it’s a paragraph which ‘circles’.

People tend to want to fulfil their the goals which they have set themselves first, and only then will they start to think about the issue of getting married or having a baby. This does not only happen with men, but also women, and it is most due to an obvious trend in society, and that is that women are more independent than they used to be, and can now earn much more money than before. [75 words]

This may look good, but look what I can do. Let’s change this to …

People want to first fulfil their life goals, and only then think about marriage and babies, especially women, who are now more financially independent. [24 words]

Wow! 24 words compared to 76! My sentence is less than 1/3 of the original (!!!), and the message is exactly the same, which shows that the first sentence was over-written. Got it? It’s your turn.

This post, and the next six (412) will all have exercises looking at sentences, or sentence fragments, and how to ‘fix’ them (= make them more concise).

The posts after that (1330) will look at single ‘circling’ paragraphs, and how to ‘fix’ them.

I’ll finish this post by giving you the first of the ‘sentence-level’ practice exercises.

Try making the following six sentences more concise.

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


Online shopping has improved in recent years by the method of using advanced technology. [14 words]


There is a great number of people who have a smoking habit, although they have the inner awareness that cigarettes are unhealthy to their bodies, and also cause negative effects on those people around them who do not smoke. [39 words]


In the modern world, smoking is so common that people can easily see this behaviour not only in their daily life but also in the movies or television series. [29 words]


The population growth issue is one of the most serious problem in many nations of the world. [17 words]


Among a diverse number of the younger generation, there is a substantial feeling that they do not want to get married. [21 words]


The table shows the usages of three Internet search engines: Yahoo, Google, and Altavista, over three separate years: 1990, 1995, and 2000. [22 words]

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