I’m going to take the book’s advice and just write the lede. The lede should be simple and to the point. It should take advantage of the English Language, but avoid fillers when possible. Most importantly, it should tell the reader, and the writer, exactly what they are about to get themselves into. This style of writing also happens to be the exact opposite of what college students have written all their lives. Yikes!
I rewrote every sentence so far because I added words. I sounded smarter , but the lede suffered. Every paper I wrote from Middle school on had a page or word count. If I write a ten page paper, I might make my point on page six. A student that writes more than the requited words is considered a better student than the six page student. So, I learned to give as much detail as I could. It has its place, especially in scientific or academic writing, but not in journalism or in many professions that rely on clear and speedy communications. Word count does not equal quality.
A journalist avoids telling too many stories at once. I like to tell as many as I can in one paper. It fills space and I can tell the reader all my thoughts. Essays need this. But I never learn to simplify my statements. Otherwise, they stay complex and unclear, even to myself. I need a clear image of what I am writing about if I’m going to write like a journalist.
So, I’ll learn. I just hope that by learning to simplify my writing, I can still write a ten page paper for finals.