SAT Essay Writing and Language
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Blah, blah, blah. How to avoid redundancy and wordiness.

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and he or she keeps repeating the same idea? Sometimes, I think people do that to convince us that whatever they’re saying is right or important. They say the same thing over and over again until you agree with their idea and they finally stop. I’m not complaining. It’s just a personal observation that I’m using as an example. Sorry, back to the subject. When an idea is repeated, this is called redundancy. A similar error is wordiness. We all know wordy people.They take an idea and give way more explanation than is needed. Usually, they go into detail about something we already understand. Perhaps these people like to hear themselves talk? Well, maybe (or maybe not) that’s okay in conversation, but it’s definitely not okay in writing. Redundancy and wordiness need to be avoided. Let’s practice. Can you spot the errors in the following passage?


To tell the truth honestly, I am overwhelmed by social media. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, etc., and many more. Weekly, it seems like there is a new social media platform every week. I can’t keep up. Before, I used to think that I was on top of the latest trend, or current movement, simply because I updated my Facebook status. Apparently, I’m not as hip as I thought. Facebook is the outdated dinosaur of the social media world and I’m learning that it’s the place where older folks (like me) go to share socially. Who knew? Here’s a new idea: Can someone develop a website or app that manages all social media for me? Wait, that probably already exists.


Answer Key:

There are different ways to improve this paragraph and I suggest deleting the text in red.

To tell the truth honestly, I am overwhelmed by social media. There’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat, etc., and many more. Weekly, It seems like there is a new social media platform every week. I can’t keep up. Before, I used to think that I was on top of the latest trend, or current movement, simply because I updated my Facebook status. Apparently, I’m not as hip as I thought. Facebook is the outdated dinosaur of the social media world and I’m learning that it’s the place where older folks (like me) go to share socially. Who knew? Here’s a(n) new idea: Can someone develop a website or app that manages all social media for me? Wait, that probably already exists.


How did you do? Were you able to find multiple errors in redundancy and wordiness? I hope so.


Here’s the takeaway:

  • Errors in redundancy occur when an idea is repeated.
  • Errors in wordiness occur when a commonly understood term is defined or an explanation becomes too lengthy.

I realize I just repeated myself, but that’s a teaching strategy, not an error.  


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