Managerial Communications MBA501
Writing Techniques – Unit Seven: Eliminating Wordiness
Learning Objective: Examine strategies for developing effective communication
As MBA students and future corporate employees, the need to write quickly and well is not only of paramount importance in today’s hurried business environment, it is also a valuable skill that employers prize. Concise reports, email messages, sales literature, and business plans that are easy to read and that contain only essential information, are the hallmarks of a good writer.
To help you practice the skill of reducing redundancies and wordiness, please go to the following Web address and follow the directions for revising longwinded and rambling sentences.
Place your corrected versions in a Word document and place in the dropbox area for Unit Seven. There are no single correct ways of eliminating wordiness; thus answers are provided at the bottom of the worksheet to guide you along.
Exercise : Eliminating Wordiness Exercise 1
Revise these sentences to state their meaning in fewer words. Avoid passive voice, needless repetition, and wordy phrases and clauses. The first sentence has been done as an example.
Exercise : Eliminating Wordiness Exercise 2
Directions: Combine each sentence group into one concise sentence.
1. The cliff dropped to reefs seventy-five feet below. The reefs below the steep cliff were barely visible through the fog.
2. Their car is gassed up. It is ready for the long drive. The drive will take all night.
3. Sometimes Stan went running with Blanche. She was a good athlete. She was on the track team at school.
4. Taylor brought some candy back from Europe. It wasn’t shaped like American candy. The candy tasted kind of strange to him.
5. Government leaders like to mention the creation of new jobs. They claim that these new jobs indicate a strong economy. They don’t mention that low-wage jobs without benefits and security have replaced many good jobs.
Exercise : Eliminating Wordiness Exercise 3
Revise the following passage, avoiding wordiness and undesirable repetition.
A large number of people enjoy reading murder mysteries regularly. As a rule, these people are not themselves murderers, nor would these people really ever enjoy seeing someone commit an actual murder, nor would most of them actually enjoy trying to solve an actual murder. They probably enjoy reading murder mysteries because of this reason: they have found a way to escape from the monotonous, boring routine of dull everyday existence.
To such people the murder mystery is realistic fantasy. It is realistic because the people in the murder mystery are as a general rule believable as people. They are not just made up pasteboard figures. It is also realistic because the character who is the hero, the character who solves the murder mystery, solves it not usually by trial and error and haphazard methods but by exercising a high degree of logic and reason. It is absolutely and totally essential that people who enjoy murder mysteries have an admiration for the human faculty of logic.
But murder mysteries are also fantasies. The people who read such books of fiction play a game. It is a game in which they suspend certain human emotions. One of these human emotions that they suspend is pity. If the reader stops to feel pity and sympathy for each and every victim that is killed or if the reader stops to feel terrible horror that such a thing could happen in our world of today, that person will never enjoy reading murder mysteries. The devoted reader of murder mysteries keeps uppermost in mind at all times the goal of arriving through logic and observation at the final solution to the mystery offered in the book. It is a game with life and death. Whodunits hopefully help the reader to hide from the hideous horrors of actual life and death in the real world.
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