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Elements of Literature Introductory Course

Sentence Workshop Pupils Edition page 307

Collection Four: All Creatures Great and Small


Wordy Sentences

Because of the simple fact that this car was owned by only one previous owner, who was a sweet little person who only drove to the market to get her groceries on Thursday afternoons, it has retained nearly its full market value, and it is still worth a good deal of money. Life would be easier if all sentences simply said what they meant. Unfortunately, some writers use too many words. The car is worth more money because the previous owner drove it only to go to the market on Thursdays. Students often fall into a trap when writing. To impress the teacher, to make their writing sound more formal, or to make an assignment longer, they create wordy sentences. Wordy sentences tend to repeat information and use unnecessary words. The best way to get rid of wordy sentences is to proofread and revise. Try these three basic ways to eliminate wordiness from your sentences. 1. Replace a phrase with one word: WORDY: Considering the fact that people and animals have long benefited each other, people should respect animals. REVISED: Since people and animals have long benefited each other, people should respect animals. 2. Take out who is or which is or that is: WORDY: The human-animal relationship that is in Stray is one of honor. REVISED: The human-animal relationship in Stray is one of honor.
Copyright by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. All rights reserved.

3. Delete a whole group of unnecessary words: WORDY: Doris sees the freezing puppy in the snow, and it is cold and miserable, so she decides to bring it in. REVISED: Doris sees the freezing puppy in the snow, so she decides to bring it in. Revising Sentences to Avoid Wordiness Revise each of the following sentences to avoid wordiness. For the first three, use the technique suggested. For the remaining sentences, use any of the techniques for revision. 1. Zlateh the Goat, which is a story of survival, shows how important animals and people can be to each other. [Take out which is.]

Exercise

Elements of Literature

Workshop Resources

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2. When an unexpected blizzard comes all of a sudden, Zlateh and Aaron get lost. [Delete unnecessary words.]

3. Owing to the help of Zlatehs warmth, milk, and company, Aaron survives. [Replace a phrase with one word.]

4. Another story that is about animals and people helping each other is Stray.

5. The January weather is terribly cold, and the temperature is extremely low, when the puppy arrives.

6. Considering the fact that the puppy is abandoned, freezing, and hungry, Doris takes it in.

7. Because of the nature of the familys finances, Doris knows she cannot keep the puppy.

9. Doris and her parents, who are in the story, show that they love each other despite the hard times that they share in the story.

10. The stories Zlateh the Goat and Stray help demonstrate and show the important relationship between humans and animals, which is helpful to both.

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Workshop Resources

Elements of Literature

Copyright by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. All rights reserved.

8. It is the intention of Doriss father to take the little dog to the pound, but he returns home with the puppy, which the family keeps.

One-Stop Planner CD-ROM and Workshop Resources print ancillaries include Answer Key here. Answers are not available Online.