Wordiness Part 3
Students often write essay exams that are filled with extra words, repeated information, and few facts. They then wonder why they received a poor grade.
The following is just such an example. It was from a college class in Shakespeare. The students were asked to compare Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet, and Rosalind, from Much Ado About Nothing. We will begin by reducing the first two sentences.
Original: Juliet and Rosalind are women who both fall in love. This is one of the few similarities between these two characters.
Reduced: One of the few similarities between Juliet and Rosalind is that they both fall in love.
Delete extra words and repeated information in the paragraph below. Then rewrite. Begin with the “Reduced” sentence above.
Juliet and Rosalind are women who both fall in love. This is one of the few similarities between these two characters. They are different in age, with Juliet being an impetuous adolescent and Rosalind being a mature adult. This difference is illustrated by the manner in which each character falls in love. Juliet rushes into romance and gets married as quickly as possible, while Rosalind makes sure of her love for Orlando – a much more rational and logical choice than Juliet’s.
- What information in your rewritten paragraph is the cause of an action? Find two causes.
- What information in your rewritten sentence is the result of the those causes? Find two results.
- Write a sentence that shows the results.
- Write a sentence that shows the causes. Begin with That is probably because …
Sentence 2: That is probably because …
- Drop That is probably because, and join the sentences.
- What do we call the result? Why is that important?
Individual or Small-Group Activity
Complete the exercises: Oregon