The Model Driven Software Network

Raise your level of abstraction

Introductions and conclusions note the importance of concision, as those framing parts of the paper are often the most egregiously bloated. The general rule introduced there holds for any writing: every word and sentence should be doing some significant work for the paper as a whole. Sometimes that work is more to provide pleasure than meaning — you needn’t ruthlessly eliminate every rhetorical flourish — but everything in the final version should add something unique to the paper. You can go to this web-site to learn more information about this interesting topic. As with clarity, the benefits of concision are intellectual as well as stylistic: revising for concision forces writers to make deliberate decisions about the claims they want to make and their reasons for making them.

Michael Harvey notes that fluffy, wordy prose does not necessarily result from an underdeveloped writing process. Sometimes it reflects the context of academic writing:

Many of us are afraid of writing concisely because doing so can make us feel exposed. Concision leaves us fewer words to hide behind. Our insights and ideas might appear puny stripped of those inessential words, phrases, and sentences in which we rough them out. We might even wonder, were we to cut out the fat, would anything be left? It’s no wonder, then, that many students make little at- tempt to be concise — [and] may, in fact, go out of their way not to be...

As noted, effortful thinking is something most people naturally try to avoid most of the time. It’s both arduous and anxiety provoking to go beyond existing knowledge and assumptions to venture into unknown territory. In some ways, too, the general structure of education conditions students to approach papers as blanks to be filled rather than open-ended problems to explore. When students actively avoid concision, it’s often because they want to avoid the hard thinking concision requires, they assume that writing is all about expressing opinions rather than undertaking a rigorous thought process, or they fear that they can’t adequately perform and communicate an ambitious analysis.

One of the first things you will learn about writing in college is that you have to be concise. It doesn’t matter whether the paper is two pages or ten; concision is key. If you start to lose your reader, expect a bad grade. Professors want to see how well you can argue a point and this includes how gracefully the paper flows as well as how long the reader’s attention is kept. If you can incorporate concision, cohesion, and grace into each paper you write, then good grades are sure to follow.

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