This online text all that glitters is not gold short essay not exactly the same as the familiar text you’ll find in bookstores, which was edited by E. White, but much of the really good stuff is the same. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.
This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell. Whether it’s a two-word quip or a 200-word bear, a sentence must be a lean, thinking machine. Here are some notes toward efficiency and conciseness in writing. Avoid saying the same thing twice. Redundant phrases are bad habits just waiting to take control of your writing. A special breed of redundancy is proliferating in our modern world as we increasingly rely on abbreviations and acronyms in the busyness of our technology.
Some people insist it is redundant to say “ATM machine” because ATM means Automated Teller Machine. It is perhaps too easy to get caught up in this, however. CD disk” can be redundant, but nowadays the abbreviation CD can refer to a number of things, including the machine itself. Be alert for clauses or phrases that can be pared to simpler, shorter constructions. The “which clause” can often be shortened to a simple adjective. Smith College, which was founded in 1871, is the premier all-women’s college in the United States. Founded in 1871, Smith College is the premier all-women’s college in the United States.
Citizens who knew what was going on voted him out of office. Knowledgeable citizens voted him out of office. Recommending that a student copy from another student’s paper is not something he would recommend. He wouldn’t recommend that a student copy from another student’s paper.
Or “He would never tell a student to copy . Phrases, too, can sometimes be trimmed, sometimes to a single word. Unencumbered by a sense of responsibility, Jasion left his wife with forty-nine kids and a can of beans. Jasion irresponsibly left his wife with forty-nine kids and a can of beans. Or leave out the word altogether and let the act speak for itself.