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Academic english iii. Class 16 May 3, 2013. Today. Academic style continued “Waste Management” – taking out the trash . Source: commons.wikimedia.org. Taking out the trash.

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academic english iii

Academic english iii

Class 16

May 3, 2013

today
Today

Academic style continued

“Waste Management” – taking out the trash

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

taking out the trash
Taking out the trash

In the class that we are going to hold on this day, it is my plan that we, as a class, will look at an issue which is common in writing fairly often; I want to talk about and discuss the issue of ‘wordiness’.

 Today, we will examine a common issue, wordiness.

wordiness
Wordiness

Conciseness is important in both academic and business writing.

- Concise writing expresses ideas without unnecessary wordiness.

Wordiness:

- Increases the length of your work without adding meaning.

- Makes writing more difficult to understand.

wordiness1
Wordiness

Example 1:

The reason why Dave came to Success College was because it is inexpensive in price.

2 issues:

1. The words reason, why, and because all express the same idea.

2. Saying something is inexpensive includes the idea of price.

wordiness2
Wordiness

Example 1:

The reason why Dave came to Success College was because it is inexpensive in price.

Concisely:

Davecame to SuccessCollege because it is inexpensive.

wordiness3
Wordiness

Example 2:

Despite the fact that she was feeling ill, Ann came to the conclusion that she would go to work.

2 issues:

1. ‘Despite the fact that’ is just a long way of saying ‘despite’.

2. ‘Came to the conclusion that’ is a long way of saying decided.

wordiness4
Wordiness

Example 2:

Despite the fact that she was feeling ill, Ann came to the conclusion that she would go to work.

Concisely:

Despite feeling ill, Ann decided to go to work.

wordiness5
Wordiness

In my opinion, I think the study of Sociology is very fascinating.

- This sentence can be cut down to three words:

Sociology

is

fascinating.

wordiness6
Wordiness

In my opinion, I think the study of Sociology is very fascinating.

 Sociology is fascinating.

- In my opinion and I think just repeat the same idea.

- Fascinating is clearly a judgment, so there is no need to include either ‘I think’ or ‘In my opinion’.

- Sociology includes the idea of studying it, so the study of is redundant.

- Fascinating can be defined as very interesting, so adding very is unnecessary.

slide12

1. The stegosaurus was huge in size.

- The stegosaurus was huge.

2. Now she is at school.

  • - She is at school.

3. He was happy and joyful about the great gift.

  • - He was happy about the gift.

4. Because of the fact that he got a good grade on the midterm, Tim decided to take the night off.

  • - Because he got a good grade on the midterm, Tim took the night off.

5. In the summer season, many Vancouverites like to picnic in Stanley Park.

  • - In the summer, many Vancouverites like to picnic in Stanley Park.

6. On January 14, in the middle of winter, the weather was freezing cold.

  • - On January 14, the weather was freezing.
slide13

7. I think smoking in public places should be banned.

  • - Smoking in public should be banned.

8. In order to get the true facts of the case, the lawyer interviewed 4 witnesses.

  • - To get the facts, the lawyer interviewed 4 witnesses.

9. Furthermore, Henry VIII also married six different women.

  • - Henry VIII also married six women.

10. Redundancy is defined as unnecessary repetition.

  • - Redundancy is unnecessary repetition.

11. New Westminster, which was British Columbia’s first capital city, is located on the shores of the Fraser River.

  • - New Westminster, British Columbia’s first capital city, is located along the Fraser River.

12. The computer is sitting on top of the table.

  • - The computer is on the table.
common causes of wordiness
Common Causes of Wordiness

W = wordy C = concise

Use of vague words which need explanation instead of precise words.

W: She talked to him in a loud angry voice.

C: She yelled at him.

W: The crime wave had some bad results that cost people a lot of money.

C: The crime wave had some costly results.

common causes of wordiness1
Common Causes of Wordiness

Use of long expressions instead of individual words

W: to come to the conclusion that

C: to decide

W: to put forward the idea that

C: to suggest

i.e., The president put forward the idea that the meeting be extended.

The president suggested that the meeting be extended.

common causes of wordiness2
Common Causes of Wordiness

Repetitive wording:

end result

past experience

share in common

small in size

= end

= past

= share

= small

common causes of wordiness3
Common Causes of Wordiness

Repetitive wording:

made a discovery

made an attempt

made an accusation

made an appearance

made a decision

= discovered

= attempted

= accused

= appeared

= decided

common causes of wordiness4
Common Causes of Wordiness

Repetitive wording, or words that provide excessive detail

W: Imagine a mental picture of someone engaged in the intellectual activity of learning the rules of playing chess.

C: Imagine someone attempting to learn the rules of chess.

common causes of wordiness5
Common Causes of Wordiness

Over-use of “it” and “there” as meaningless subjects

W: It was exciting to go to the New Year celebrations.

C: The New Year celebrations were exciting.

W: There were thirty-four people in the room who were waiting for the mayor.

C: Thirty-four people in the room were waiting for the mayor.

common causes of wordiness6
Common Causes of Wordiness

Over-use of relative clauses (starting with that, who, which)

W: The news, which was released yesterday, was devastating.

C: The news released yesterday was devastating.

W: The girl who was talented gave a concert.

C: The talented girl have a concert.

common causes of wordiness7
Common Causes of Wordiness

Over-use of passive verbs

W: The criminal was caught by the police, and later the criminal was convicted by the courts.

C: The police caught the criminal and the court convicted him.

passive

passive

active

active

side note passive vs active voice
Side note: passive vs. active voice

In academic writing, active sentences are preferred over passive sentences.

side note passive vs active voice1
Side note: passive vs. active voice

In academic writing, active sentences are preferred over passive sentences.

Active voice:

- The subject performs the action expressed by the verb. i.e., Andrewthrew the hammer.

side note passive vs active voice2
Side note: passive vs. active voice

In academic writing, active sentences are preferred over passive sentences.

Passive voice:

- The subject receives the action expressed by the verb. i.e., The hammerwas thrownby Andrew.

side note passive vs active voice3
Side note: passive vs. active voice

In academic writing, active sentences are preferred over passive sentences.

- The active voice is:

- More concise

- More direct

- Easier to understand

side note passive vs active voice4
Side note: passive vs. active voice

Examples:

It is believed by some critics that Psycho is Hitchcock’s greatest film.

Active:

Some critics believe that Psycho is Hitchcock’s greatest film.

side note passive vs active voice5
Side note: passive vs. active voice

Examples:

The Old Man and the Seawas written by Ernest Hemmingway.

Active:

Ernest Hemmingway wrote The Old Man and the Sea.

side note passive vs active voice6
Side note: passive vs. active voice

Exception:

If the agent – the one performing the action- is unknown, you can use the passive voice.

i.e., The walls had been defaced by grafitti.

The car was pushed over the cliff.

practice
Practice

Terry Fox

Source: www.cbc.ca

homework
Homework

Finish the Tebbrry Fox examples (check website for sample answers)

JOURNAL: Re-write the paragraph about Canada in Space more concisely.

Deadline: Tuesday 2:00 p.m.