Eliminating Deadwood: Exercise 2

One step in the editing process is to eliminate redundancy, or “deadwood.” Two ways to achieve more concise paragraphs are shown below.

  1. Create compounds.

Wordy: Mumps is a common childhood disease. Measles is a common childhood disease.

Concise: Mumps and measles are common childhood diseases.

  1. Use verbs instead of nouns or noun phrases whenever possible.

Wordy: The scientist gave an explanation of how ice melts.

Concise: The scientist explained how ice melts.

Exercise: Use the frame to rewrite the paragraph so that it is more concise. When you are finished, send this page to your teacher.

In the year 1911, there was a scientist from New Zealand. His name was Ernest Rutherford. Ernest Rutherford had a theory that most of an atom’s mass exists in the nucleus. Furthermore, Ernest Rutherford, in addition, believed that all of an atom’s positive charge exists in the nucleus. His experiment proved his theory. His experiment also proved his hypothesis that most of the total volume of an atom is empty space.