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Chemistry LibreTexts

Clarity and Concision

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    For our last exercise in this session, consider the unique challenge in application writing: saying more with less.  Your scholarship essay or college essay may be limited to a certain number of words, and lengthy resumes or cover letters may not be acceptable. 

    Writing concisely is a key skill for any aspiring writer, but it's particularly valuable in application writing.

    Eons ago in my own AP English course, my teacher instructed students to count words in a passage, rewrite more concisely, and recount the words remaining while noting what we had done to reduce verbiage. Of course, that was before texting and Twitter, those digital opportunities for practicing concision.  Still, I believe you can benefit from exercising this writer's skill.

    Make a copy of the document A Baker's Dozen of Fat-Cutting Exercises that includes both the first part of an article by that name and thirteen practices for eliminating verbiage.  

    Read the text at the top and complete the thirteen exercises at the bottom of the document. Look for the principle that was used to shorten the first two sentences. (That principle might be "eliminate redundant adjectives" or "avoid state of being 'BE' verbs" or "seek out a stronger verb.") Then find a way to shorten each of the second sentences provided using that same principle.  

    If you're stuck, the answer key is provided, but give this your best thought first. :)

    Include your name on the copy and write your responses on this sheet.

    Submit for 1.15 Concision on the next slide.