Let’s Practice Being Concise (8 of 8)


In the previous post, I quoted from my own IELTS Writing Task Two book (Page 33, at the bottom). This page compares the sentence …

When people try to park cars in cities, they usually find it difficult. [13 words]

with …

Parking cars in cities is usually difficult. [7 words]

and concludes …

This new sentence is much shorter, and makes the same point. That is, the sentence is concise, and concision is a sign of a good writer.

This rule should be your rule in IELTS Writing. If a sentence can make the same point in fewer words, WRITE THAT SENTENCES! You then have time to …

  • write more,
  • say more,
  • and achieve more of the task.

It’s time to practice, and in this final practice, let’s look at some longer pieces of writing.

Try making the following sentences more concise.

  1. Living alone has many adverse effects. People who live alone may experience feelings of isolation. For example, when people start living alone, it could make them lose emotional support. [30 words]
  2. Many people cannot afford a house. In other words, they do not have enough money to have a new family. [21 words]
  3. These crimes can cause a memory which remains forever in their minds whenever the victims think about those past events. [20 words]
  4. Human rights organizations have tried to abolish the death penalty, and they have launched several attacks, but so far they have not been successful. [24 words]
  5. Government has spent money to improve the museum environment for not only local citizens, but also the tourists who visit from all over the world. [25 words]
  6. Museums show real history. For example, when visitors go into one of the famous art museums such as the Louvre in Paris, they immediately see the reality of life. [29 words]

Here are the answers to Being Concise (7 of 8).

  1. The astronauts may bring back harmful viruses. [7 words; originally 17]
  2. Capital punishment is a deterrent against crime. [7 words; originally 17] [‘Making their desire to commit a crime less strong’ simply defines ‘deterrent’.]
  3. Purchasing online is often more economical. [6 words; originally 11] [However, the sentence: ‘Products purchased online are often cheaper’ is clearer.]
  4. [Examples of crime]. Thus, judicial systems exists. [4 words; originally 9]
  5. Improving the environment and quality of life is the main difficulty. [11 words; originally 18]
  6. Technology will inevitably change. [11 words; originally 4]