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Clear Writing for College Students and Wordy Emailers. Readers do not like wordy sentences—they’re frustrating, confusing , and unnecessary (especially in emails). Teachers:. Are you assigning informational texts/units?. Why should you?

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clear writing for college students and wordy emailers

Clear Writing for College Students and Wordy Emailers

Readers do not like wordy sentences—they’re frustrating, confusing, and unnecessary (especially in emails)

teachers
Teachers:

Are you assigning informational texts/units?

  • Why should you?
  • Evaluating information reaches Bloom’s highest Level: (6.Evaluate/Create)
  • Students need to summarize and paraphrase, not just M.C. tests

How to grade students’ writing?

what is college level writing
What is College Level Writing?
  • Clear and Concise
  • Fewer words the better but maintain the sentence’s meaning (ACT skill)
  • Avoid a string of prepositional phrases(3 at the most)
  • Avoid Wordy Phrases
  • Active Verb Choice (avoid excessive use of “to be” verbs)—annotation verbs
  • Accurate
  • Summarize and Paraphrase
  • Proof students understand the material(Reading Comprehension)
  • Teachers: assign assessments that require evaluation from the students, not just memorization
what is a preposition
What is a preposition?

Word that sits before a noun (or pronoun)

to show the noun’s relationship to another word

in the sentence (don’t say: Where you at?)

The squirrel (noun) ran around the tree (noun).

Around gives the relationship between the tree and the squirrel

Something a squirrel can do to a tree: around, through,

towards, past, of, about,…

why would you use too many
Why would you use too many?
  • You have a lot of information you want to put
  • into one sentence (summarizing).
  • You should spread that information over
  • several other sentences and paragraphs.
  • Look at the all the information in the following
  • sample:
prepositional phrases
Prepositional Phrases

Huh?

As a matter of fact, the article is claiming our society needs new programs with more funding to the recipients of the program for their needs of food, shelter, and clothing so the homeless will be taken off the streets for their safety, well-being, and other stuff that pops up that the directors will need to handle with the new funding.

were you right
Were you Right?
  • As a matter of fact, the article is claiming our society needs new programs with more funding to the recipients of the program for their needs of food, shelter, and clothing so the homeless will be taken off the streets for their safety, well-being, and other stuff that pops up that the directors will need to handle with the new funding.
  • (61 words, 8 prep phrases. Isn’t that wordy? Keep it at 3 or fewer)
even uglier look at it this w ay
Even Uglier: Look at it this Way

As a matter

of fact, the article is claiming our society needs new programs

with more funding

to the recipients

of the program

for their needs

of food, shelter, and clothing so the homeless will be taken off the streets

for their safety, well-being, and other stuff that pops up that the directors will need to handle

with the new funding.

(Can you rewrite with one prep phrase, fewer than 20 words, and maintain the sentence’s meaning? If so, you can write on a college level.)

lose the wordy phrases
Lose the Wordy Phrases

Actually

Because

Because

Now

Always

Today/nowadays

Can

  • As a matter of fact
  • Due to the fact that
  • In light of the fact that
  • at the present time
  • at all times
  • this day and age
  • has the ability to
shorten verb phrases verb usage and keep them active
Shorten Verb Phrases, Verb Usage, andKeep Them Active

…the article claims…

…is claiming…

…needs…

…needs…

…removed…

…will be taken off...

…appears/presents…

…pops up…

…handle…

…will need to handle…

my new sentence
My New Sentence

Actually, the article claims new and properly funded programs will provide all of the homeless population’s needs.

(17 words and 1 prep phrase)

or

…provide everything the homeless need.

(15 words and 0 prep phrases)

Has the meaning of the sentence changed?

what about style and voice
What about Style and Voice?
  • Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go.
  • No—Gatsby turned out all right at the end; it is what preyed on Gatsby, what foul dust floated in the wake of his dreams that temporarily closed out my interest in the abortive sorrows and short-winded elations of men.
  • We’re taking the scenic drive to grandma’s house?
  • No—Gatsby developed nicely; witnessing his behavior nearly ruined my belief in mankind, though.

Do not sacrifice concise and clear writing to establish voice

and style. Only great novelists can do that.

email needs clear concise language too
Email Needs Clear, Concise Language Too

85% of internet users use email vs. 62% use social media (Professional World)

Business is done through email more than any other means of communication

3 Common Questions asked before reading an email:

1. Who is emailing me?

2. What does he/she want?

3. How long will this take?

Do your emails pass these questions?

“I don’t think I got that email.” (Yes, I did. I deleted it when I saw its length.)

Source: Gregory Ciotti (marketer and blogger of behavioral psychology)

3 b plan
3-B Plan

3-B Plan:

1. Brevity (Use as few as words as possible—you now know how to do this)

Keep subject lines brief and on topic

Do Not Reply in the subject line = Do Not Open

Address the Person—people like seeing their name

2. Blunt (get to the point of why the email should be read—no jokes)

Get down to business in the first line

Tell (Don’t Show) how recipient will benefit

Thank recipient for his/her time

3. Basic (don’t make me display images or open attachments every single

time)

sample email
Sample Email:

Subject: Presentation

Mr. Wojciechowski,

Your presentation changed my life. Will you put in on

your website so I can review it?

Thanks for your time.

SHS Student