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USC WRIT 150 - Concision Exercise

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V. OsborneFall 2020 Writ 150CONCISION -Tips to avoid Wordy Writing (Adapted from Joseph Williams, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace. 3rd ed. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresma)1) Avoid Passive Voice-- Instead of “It has been shown that heart attacks can be caused by stress.” Use “Brown shows how stress contributes to heart attacks.”2) Put the action of the sentence in the verb—Instead of “An evaluation of the procedure needs to be done.” Try “We must evaluate the procedure.” (be careful of –tion words--verbs that have been changed into nouns--in place of strong verbs 3) Avoid wordy verb phrases. Wordy“are suggestive of” try  suggests4) Use “It is” or “There are” constructions sparingly—Wordy: “It was her last argument that finally persuaded me” Concise: Her last argument persuaded me.5) Eliminate unnecessary prepositional phrases—Instead of “the opinion of the president” try “the president’s opinion”6) Avoid wordy phrases—Instead of “due to the fact that” use “because” instead of “has the opportunity to” use “can”ACTIVITY: Style and Grammar Revision Sample SentencesRevise the following sentences to make them more concise and direct. Use some of the tips above. Aim for clarity and precision as well as brevity. Be prepared to share.1. Therefore, ever since the privatization of prison has appeared, the incarceration rates increased even more, and with that decreased the crime rates.2. The causation of gentrification is too complex to blame one party or cause for triggeringgentrification in a specific area.3. The critical conversation around the subject of universal access to contraception for women, and the view of contraception coverage more holistically as a woman’s health issue, has been significantly muddled by factors such as perceived morality and religious views as portrayed in the popular media. 4. More research that spreads light on the fairness of race-based affirmative action, is that which demonstrates the role economic inequality plays in education and the college admissions process5. There is often more required by social change and by justice than reshaping or creating


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