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Test PrepACTEnglishWordiness

ACT English Skill Review: Wordiness

The concept of wordiness is tested on the ACT English test. However, it also has an impact on the Writing test as well. The rule is simple:

Clear, effective writing is often concise writing.

Inexperienced writers sometimes think that they need to add extra words to their papers to make them sound better. We’d like to caution - don’t just employ empty words for the sake of padding. If you’re going to add to a piece of writing, make sure what you’re including is substantive (i.e. information, examples, description, explanation, etc.). Remember to keep an eye out for unnecessary wordiness on the English test and watch for verbosity in your own writing as well.


Here’s a tip to use when making your final answer choice:

When in doubt, choose the shorter answer.

Although not a hard and fast rule, more often than not you’ll be correct.

Example

Try this question:
  1. This is an excellent book that is extremely fun and helpful to read.

    1. NO CHANGE
    2. This is an excellent book which is extremely fun and helpful
    3. This excellent book, which is extremely fun and helpful
    4. This helpful book is extremely fun

Answer and Explanation

  1. The correct answer is D. Choice D is the shortest and sweetest of the four options. Choices A and B contain unnecessary words, while choice C makes the sentence into a fragment.


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