1. Streamline your essay

  • 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.

2. Exercise: Eliminate Fill Sentences

Condense the two sentences into one, direct sentence.

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


Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States.

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


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

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


Many buildings collapsed due to the twister that destroyed three city blocks.

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