In this video, you will learn how to improve your sentences and how to stop repeating yourself to death.
Just remember, redundancy kills your style and your grade.
Now, what is redundancy? Redundancy is simply repetition. It’s when you repeat stuff.
In your writing, you can be redundant or repetitious on several levels:
- Essay level – that’s when you repeat the whole section. And this happens all the time when the student will say something in one part of the essay. And then looking for more words, more pages, the student will pretty much repeat the same thing he already said and will repeat the whole section.
- Paragraph level – that’s when you essentially repeat sentences. Now it’s not necessarily the same sentence that you repeat. But the first sentence may say something, and the second or third or fifth sentence in the same paragraph will essentially say the same thing but using different words.
- Sentence level – that’s when you repeat words, and sometimes you repeat exactly the same words, and other times you repeat a word by using a synonym that you don’t really need to be using.
So in this video, we will take a look at an example of how this works on the sentence level and how to improve it.
Here’s our sentence:
“A quality improvement plan needs to be continuously used and continuously adapted all the time.”
Okay, so what strikes you right away in the sentence?
Well, the word “continuously” is used once and then is used again. So we obviously could avoid the repetition of this word.
Now let’s try and do that.
Let’s eliminate one of them. Now, let’s read the sentence:
“A quality improvement plan needs to be continuously used and adapted all the time.”
See how much better the sentence is, how much more elegant?
Now, is there anything else that we could do in this sentence?
Well, I say – yes.
Let’s take a look at the phrase “all the time.”
Let me ask you a question. How different is it from the word “continuously?”
All the time versus continuously. Is it pretty much the same thing?
I would say it’s the same thing. At least in this sentence, it’s exactly the same thing.
So let’s see if we could eliminate that as well.
And here we are:
“A quality improvement plan needs to be continuously used and adapted.”
Wow. That’s just a much better sentence.
Let’s compare the sentences:
Version 1: “A quality improvement plan needs to be continuously used and continuously adapted all the time.”
Version 2: “A quality improvement plan needs to be continuously used and adapted.”
See how much more elegant it is. How much more beautiful the sentence is. It’s more succinct, it’s more direct and to the point, and therefore it is just much, much better in quality.
Now at the same time, I understand that there is an issue that a student could have with me and say,
“Tutor Phil, in the first sentence I have 15 words. In the second version, I only have 11 words. I cut out 4 words from my writing. But my professor wants 1,000 words. How do I get the words?”
So first of all, let me tell you – don’t use this method to add words because it’s only going to bring your grade down and it won’t make a very good impression on your professor.
So here’s what you would do instead.
I prepared this report, and it’s called “How to add 300 Words to any Essay in 15 minutes.”
This is a very effective way to add words without being redundant. And you can pick it up right here.