For Shorter, Snappier Writing



For Shorter, Snappier Writing: 

This exercise, which can be conducted over the course of a few nights or during a single class, shows students that they can sharpen their ideas and prose by taking out the padding.
  • Ask your students to write a piece (a summary, an argument), whatever fits with your course content.
  • Ask them to count the sentences used in that piece. 
  • Have them halve the length of the assignment while retaining the meaning, and urge them to employ different grammatical constructions. 
  • When students are done, you can ask them to halve the text again. 
  • Finally, ask them to evaluate which piece they like best--chances are many of them will like the shortest version best.