Streamline your essay by avoiding unnecessary sentences.
  • Avoid sentences that do not advance your argument.
  • Avoid asking a question only to answer it.
  • Avoid sentences that announce that you are shifting the topic. Use transitional phrases instead of writing sentences to change your subject.

FILL: Who should be the next president? I think Mike Dukakis should give it another try.

TO THE POINT: Mike Dukakis should make a second bid for the presidency.

Exercise 1: Avoid “fill” sentences that do not serve a purpose.

Condense the two-sentence groups into one, direct sentence.

Drill #1. Who was Abraham Lincoln? He was a President of the United States.

EXPLANATION

Answer. Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States.

Drill #2. Patton was a famous general. He was renowned for his ability to surprise the enemy.

EXPLANATION

Answer. General Patton was famous for his ability to surprise the enemy.

Drill #3. The twister destroyed three city blocks. Many buildings collapsed because of the twister.

EXPLANATION

Answer. Many buildings were destroyed by the twister that destroyed three city blocks.

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