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

13. road.jpg

Yes, it’s Back to Concision, Again (13 of 30): ‘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, 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 three 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. As the picture above shows, although the scenery may be very complicated, the road clearly goes somewhere. So too does the writing in your paragraph.

Try making the following paragraph more concise.

Remember, it is not just words, but ideas which we do not want to repeat.

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

Can you then continue the paragraph in a better way?

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]

Answers to Concision 12 of 30: Sentences


These two pie charts given make a comparison of the composition of exported Australian products in two different years, which respectively are 2005 and 2010. [25 words]

… becomes …

The charts compare the changes in Australia’s exports in 2005 and 2010. [12 words]


Some proponents of possessing guns might say when the citizens have guns, they can use these weapons to protect themselves, or their members of family. [25 words]

… becomes …

Gun proponents say their weapons protect them and their family. [10 words]


Co-education benefits students not only in their academic development, but also in the way they learn to socialise more effectively. [20 words]

… becomes …

Co-education benefits students not only academiclly, but also socially. [9 words]


With inflation of prices, there are many stores now raising their prices, especially in tourist attractions, so it may cost the same amount of money to travel abroad. [28 words]

… becomes …

With tourist attractions raising their prices, it may cost the same to travel abroad. [14 words]


Many people are now travelling for tourism purposes to foreign countries all over the world, and ignoring the opportunity to travel to places in their own countries. [27 words]

… becomes …

Many tourists are now travelling internationally, rather than domestically. [9 words]


Some people may argue that it is better to stay in the same career. They say that doing this would help people to accumulate more experience. [26 words]

… becomes …

Some people may argue that staying in the same career helps accumulate experience. [13 words]

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