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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.