Pruning your prose

Pruning your prose

Paper running too long? You could comb through it and cut words or sentences.  

 

Or, you can make structural changes to deliver more value per word.

 

Here's how.

 

  • Section level
    • Does the section have a point?  If you can't summarize the point in one sentence, chances are it is unclear.  And if that's true, the section has irrelevant details.
    • If you build up to the main point rather than starting with it, you will likely have a longer section.

 

  • Paragraph level
    • Is each paragraph actually making a point?  If you're using a paragraph to give the reader information rather than to convince them of something, you are probably including irrelevant details.  
    • Are you beginning each paragraph with the point you want to convince readers of?  If not, you will likely have longer paragraphs.

 

  • Sentence structure
    • Is each sentence contributing towards a clear point?  If not, why is it there?

 

 

You can also check out a related post on when length is not a sign of quality.

 

 

 

 

Post by Varanya Chaubey
Image By Hirvenkürpa (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Sentence style

Sentence style

Presentations:  The Middle

Presentations: The Middle