Getting rid of needless words Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

Sometimes students write essays that contain a lot more words than they need. Some examples include the following:

I thought that I would write my essay for COM1010 about the following really interesting topic: the communication  aspects seen and heard and visualized in House, M.D.  The aspects of communication that I will discuss in this essay for COM1010 will cover include indirect communication, nonverbal communication, and verbal communication.

Please, I’m bored already. It’s your essay and you are writing it. Therefore, it goes without saying that you have thought about writing it before you actually did. Get to the point. One thing: if your professor likes five-sentence paragraphs, you need to make sure that you have written a five-sentence introductory paragraph without boring anyone to death.

I would re-write this paragraph as follows:

House, M.D. contains many aspects of communication that we have covered this semester in COM1010. This essay will discuss indirect, nonverbal, and verbal communication as seen in the episode Autopsy from season two. My focus will be on the first differential diagnosis scene between Doctors Cameron, Chase, Foreman, and House. I will argue that camera angles, lighting, and proximity all contribute to the audience’s understanding of this episode.  I will take each of these aspects in turn.

Now your essay is launched and I can’t wait to read it. You sound like a college student who knows what he or she is talking about, not someone straight out of high school who has too much blank paper and not enough legitimate things to say.


Dr. Sheri


Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

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