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!
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