Tips on Writing in the Form of a Memorandum

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Project #7057

Prepared for:

BTW 250

April 15, 2010

Prepared by:

Memorandum

April 15, 2010

TO:

FROM:

RE: Executive Summary of Shape from Style: Lesson 7, “Concision”

In Joseph Williams’s book, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, he explains the most effective and efficient styles regarding writing as a verb. In Williams’s seventh lesson, “Concision”, Williams discusses how to make a sentence much clearer to a reader by effectively shortening it. Williams explains that there are five principles of concision to make a sentence more appealing to the audience.

Williams describes the first principle as deleting words that mean little or nothing. For example, writing sentences without words, such as actually, basically, generally, or really, can clearly bring out the true meaning of the sentence. The second principle is to delete words the repeat meaning. He explains that this mostly happens in pairing words when describing an instance. Similar to this concept, the third principle is to delete words that are implied by other words. Williams explains that this is common especially with redundant modifiers and categories. The fourth principle, replacing a phrase with a word, can effectively be used to simplify the sentence’s context. The final principle that Williams describes is to change negatives into affirmatives, such as changing “not many” to “few”. This principle makes the sentence simpler for the reader.

Another method Williams describes in the chapter of making sentences more concise is to remove metadiscourse. By removing words, such as first, second, or last, the sentence can focus more on content compared to its organization.

As you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

Thank you.

Memorandum

April 15, 2010

TO:

FROM:

RE: Application of Lesson 7: “Concision” in assignment 7015

When completing our work for MCG, and specifically assignment 7015, we can use Joseph Williams’s chapter...
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