Thursday, February 23, 2012

Teaching to Write Shorter

In every writing class that I have ever taken we would always write 500-600 word papers all the time. What if we cut that paper in half, and took out all the sentences we just rambled on about. It would definitely be shorter and most likely be a better paper. First, because we are not making anything up. We are writing about what we know and not lying about anything. Secondly we will make less mistakes.

A teacher named Andy Selsberg has been teaching his students to write shorter for a couple of years now. Andy says as writers "We need to set our sights not lower, but shorter''. I definitely agree with what Andy is saying. If we keep our goals high, but practice writing shorter papers those 500-600 word papers will be much easier.

To become a better writer you have to always practice. By making what your writing shorter you are practing to become a great writer. To some people they may think that setting our sights shorter is like taking a shortcut. When you write shorter you are not hiding anything. You are writing about what you need to and nothing more. Just remeber a lot can be said with a little.


  1. I understand fully what you are saying, and just as you do, I agree with the teachings of Andy Selsberg as well. I like the idea actually. If we talk about what we know exactly in papers or reports, it will definitely erase much of the prattling the average students does in their papers. Also, just as you said, we will be aiming higher, just writing less non-sense. This blog had research behind it an dit came out well.

  2. I understand completely what your saying, but unlike you, I don't agree with the teachings of Andy Selsberg as well. But I like the idea that you follow him. If we write what we know in term papers, blogs or posts they it'll definitely erase much of the rambling on the average students does in their papers. As you said, we will reaching to higher achievements, but not writing about bs. This blog has well researched facts in it.

  3. Yes! I agree! Writing should be about quality, not quantity! I can write 600 words on a paper, but how many of those words can I actually say are relevant to the subject matter? I'm just trying to fill a quota by this point. Focusing more on quality can actually lead to providing longer papers with relevant information.

  4. I agree so much with this post! Writing about what we know and not rambling on just to hit the 500-600 word count is what a lot of writers need to work on. Quality not quantity should always be remembered. I agree that if we practice more with just writing what you know than you will be able to write a lot better and get 500-600 words without even recognizing it. Practice makes perfect!!