Country Report (Pro)


Start Cutting

Do you remember the golden rule of good writing?

or, as Strunk and White put it:

In the student essays that I grade, I find many needless words and phrases. Do me a favor and cut them out before you turn in your paper.

Here are some "needless phrases" that are especially common. In the left column are examples from actual student papers. In the right column is the revision that I suggested.

Too Wordy Better

In addition to the fact that the food in France is creamy and delicious, another good reason to go to France is that the people are friendly.

Second, the people in France are friendly.

The second reason is that Jamaica is beautiful.

Second, Jamaica is beautiful.

This is why Jamaica is a fun island.

Jamaica is a fun island.

This is the reason why you should go to Brazil.

You should go to Brazil.

This quote shows that Brazil is dangerous.

Clearly, Brazil is dangerous.

The first argument is that the food is delicious.

First, the food is delicious.

Here are some reasons to go to Hawaii.

In most cases, a sentence like this is totally unnecessary.

This quote is an example of

Cut it out!

This quote clearly shows

Cut it out!

This quote shows that

Cut it out!

This quote is basically saying that . . .

Cut it out!

This means that . . .

Cut it out!

This clearly shows . . .

Cut it out!

This clearly states . . .

Cut it out!

From this quote it is clear that . . .

Cut it out!



Lesson Steps


Start cutting needless words from you paper. Especially look for phrases such as:

  • This quote shows . . .
  • The second reason is . . .
  • My first argument is . . .

These expressions can almost always be trimmed or cut out altogether.

2 Congratulations! You're done with this lesson.