" 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, but that every word tells. If a writer fails to do this his paper may suffer from redundancy"(Grammar).
- Redundancy causes wordiness by
- using unneccessary repetitions,
- saying the samething twice,
- using unnecessary words,
- using empty clauses and phrases.
- Unneccessary Repetitions
"Writers often repeat certain lines or words in their writing to captivate the reader or just for an effect; however, these repetitions may seem awkward if there is a more concise version"(Hacker,125). "If the writer can get an effect from the reader with fewer words, the writer should" (Hodges312).
Incorrect: Our fifth patient, in room six, is a mentally ill patient. Correct: Our fifth patient, in room six, is mentally ill.
Incorrect: The best teachers help each student to become a better student both academically and emotionally. Correct: The best teachers help each student grow both academically and emotionally.
- Saying the Same Thing Twice
Restating a key point in different words can help the reader understand it; however, there is no need to rephrase readily understood terms. It is redundant(Hodge312).. For example the writer should not use words with the same meaning or connotation:
cooperate together close proximity basic essentials or true fact, and etc.....
- Wordy Sentences
"A wordy sentence is a sentence composed of unneccessary words in attempt to convey its meaning. When one word will do the job of several words in a sentence, the writer should use the one word"(OWL).
Incorrect: There well always be a person or group who will test the legislature and publish libelous statements as long as they can until they are caught.
Eliminating "there" and "be" and putting the subject and verb in their proper place will make the sentence more concise.
Better: People will always test the legislature and publish libelous statements as long as they can until they are caught.
Better, but there remains a repetition of the word "they." Get rid of the repetition.
Correct: People test the legislature by publishing libelous statements as long as they can.(OWL)
- Empty Clausing and Phrases
"An empty clause is one that can be reduced to a phrase, and an empty phrase is one that can be reduced to a simply phrase or a single word (Grammar)". Phrases to Avoid:
in my opinion, in today's society, and etc....
- Hacker, Diana. A writer's Reference. New York:Bedford/St.Martin's 2003
- Hodge, John C.. Hodges' Harbrace Handbook. 5th Edition. United States of America: Handle, a part of the Thomson Corporation. 2004
- Macon State College. Tutorial. Eliminating Wordiness.2005 <http://tutorials.maconstate.edu/owl/wp/wp40.asp>
- Darling, Professor Charles.Concise Grammar. Capital Community College. <http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/concise.htm>