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Revising with Williams

October 14, 2011

To be honest, I found it rather difficult to find good examples of poorly written sentences in the catalog. It’s tough when skimming, but I probably could if I sat down and read a lot of it. But who really wants to do that??

Anyway, below are my examples.

From the catalog:

EMU’s COB endeavors to develop business leaders to understand and use innovative approaches to address the forces shaping their environment as they create and manage businesses with the highest ethical standards.

From Williams Chapter 2 titled “Clarity”, they mention eliminating unclear language precisely.  I took that as to make sure that the information contained in the sentence stays the same. From Williams: “To correct those problems, we need not avoid impressionistic language; but you have to use it precisely, and then move beyond it.

After reading that, my revised sentence is as follows:

EMU’s COB aims to develop business leaders who will create and manage businesses with the highest ethical standards through the use of innovative approaches addressing the forces shaping their environment.

It might not seem like the biggest change, because it’s not. The sentence was clear before, but it was rather wordy in my opinion. As a journalism guy, conciseness is the way to go, and it’s tough to throw this much information into one sentence while keeping clarity. The way I rewrote it goes from point A to point B to point C, all in order. To me, that sticks with the “Clarity” discussed by Williams.


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