Writing Concisely

Encourage your students to make their words count when writing. Good writing is concise writing. Here are three things you can do to help your students write concisely.

  1. Have your students avoid redundancy. For example,a student might write “I was thinking to myself the other day.” To whom else could the student be thinking? The student could have written “I was thinking the other day.” Here are some other examples of common redundancies: close proximity, repeat again, end result.
  2. Have your students avoid unnecessary use of intensifiers. Why write “totally upset” when “upset” will do just fine? Here are some other examples of unnecessary intensifiers: perfectly happy, truly angry, positively certain.
  3. Have your students avoid the use of unnecessary phrases. For example, a student might write “There is more pollution today because of the fact that there are more cars on the road.” The phrase “because of the fact that” can be replaced by “because.” Here are some more examples of phrases that are often unnecessary: have a tendency to, what I mean to say is, it seems that.