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