Stacked Modifiers and Nouns:
•Avoid using long strings of
•These stacked modifiers and nouns can be hard to read and
sometimes create ambiguity.
• Add a few words (especially prepositions and conjunctions)
to make the relationships
between nouns clear to the reader.
•Say what you have to say in as few words as possible
without sacrificing clarity or omitting
•Conciseness is desirable in
writing, but especially so in technical
•Excessive use of the passive voice, excessive
unnecessary repetition, and
unnecessary words and phrasesare
some common causes of wordy writing.
Passive Voice and Active Voice:
whenever the passive voice is not
•Active verbs make for
prose;sentences with passive verbs use more
•Moreover, passive verbs de-emphasize or even eliminate
mention of the performer of the
action conveyed by the verb.
•Where possible, use
forms instead of noun forms.
•Excessive or unnecessary
(turning verbs into nouns) can make your
wordy because it requires a noun and a verb instead of just
the verb form.
•Avoid unnecessary repetition.
• One of the most common types of unnecessary repetition
information given in the word modified.
•In the slides that follow we discuss a few examples of
recognizing and eliminating
Unnecessary Words and Phrases:
•Make sure that each word and phrase in your sentences
contributes to meaning and clarity.
•Try to avoid the two commonly used constructions
There is/are . . .
It is . . .
•Delete superfluous material when you revise your first
•Avoid sentences that contain more information than the
reader can easily follow.
•Instead, divide such sentences into more manageable pieces
that can be easily grasped.
•A sentence fragment is missing a subject, a
or both, but is punctuated as if it were a
•In the following slides we examine a few examples of such
sentences which do not make
sense and at the same time correct them as well.
•Never link two
with just a comma; this is known as a
•You can correct a comma splice in four ways:
independent clauses into two separate sentences. Punctuate both
Replace the comma
with a semicolon
or with a semicolon and a
adverb such as
(The conjunctive adverb is then normally followed
by a comma.)
Replace the comma
with a comma and a
Make one of the
clauses into a
•Do not allow two
to run together without a
•This error produces a fused sentence.
•To join two main clauses, follow the options listed under
•Avoid stringing several
that would be easier to read and understand
if they were
broken up into separate clauses.
•The following example make the point of how incoherent, the
language becomes with the
use of stringy sentences.
and verbs and between
important for paragraph coherence, as well as for style and
your document, check for agreement,
paying close attention to subjects,
verbs, and pronouns.
•Make sure your subject agrees with your verb (subject-verb
•Make sure your pronouns agree in gender and number with
their antecedents (pronounantecedent
•Make sure the form of your pronoun is appropriate for how
you are using the pronoun in the
•For the sake of
make sure your pronouns are closely linked to their antecedents