Write Efficiently!

Police officers are busy men and women! Reports need to be efficient. A report swollen with unnecessary words wastes the writer’s time – and wastes time for everyone who reads it.

Here’s an excerpt from a police repot about a fight at a bar. Can you rewrite it more efficiently? A suggested revision appears below.

I parked my service vehicle and entered Kelly’s Bar, whereupon I asked Jack Benson, the bartender, to tell me exactly what happened that caused him to call the police. Benson advised me that two men at the bar got into a fight. Perry Gallo offered to buy Linda Portman a drink, resulting in Larry Foster saying, “She’s with me” and punching Gallo with his left fist.

Here’s a suggested revision:

Jack Benson at Kelly’s Bar saw the fight. He told me that Perry Gallo offered to buy Linda Portman a drink. Larry Foster said “She’s with me” and punched Gallo with his left fist.

Some suggestions from me:

  • Avoid whereupon – it’s an old-fashioned word that doesn’t add anything useful.
  • Write short, simple sentences.
  • Use told or said. Save advised for giving actual advice.
  • Omit unnecessary fillers. You don’t have to explain that you parked your vehicle and entered the bar. If the bartender talked to you, of course you were at the bar!

efficiency meter

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