Your Daily Conciseness #3

Not concise:

Hundreds of different people attended the conference.

Concise:

Hundreds of people attended the conference.

Comment:

You don’t need to say “hundreds of different people,” because all people are different. If hundreds of the same person attended the conference, it would be scary, to say the least.

Your Daily Conciseness #2

Not concise:

Participants sat in a circular formation during the meeting.

Concise:

Participants sat in a circle during the meeting.

Comment:

I can’t think of a situation in which a “circular formation” can’t be equally effectively described simply as a “circle.” If any readers can think of a context in which it’s better to write “circular formation,” please let me know!

When my students cannot detect the problem in this conciseness example, I ask them to draw a circular formation on the board. The answer comes to them when they realise they’ve drawn a circle.

Your Daily Conciseness #1

Write concisely means eliminating unnecessary words. Concise writing is sharp and elegant and provides a great reading experience.

I’m going to share one wordy sentence with you (almost) every day and show how it can be made more concise. Every time you enjoy Your Daily Conciseness, you’re one step closer to mastering clean academic writing with no unnecessary words.

And, it’s fun! (Really, I mean it!)

Here’s Your Daily Conciseness #1:

Not concise:

Smith draws the conclusion that global warming is a threat to 125,000 species of insects.

Concise:

Smith concludes that global warming threatens 125,000 insect species.

See the difference? I removed six words while preserving the meaning perfectly.