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  1. #1
    Member annnie's Avatar
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    Default NTs: Are you a concise or verbose writer?

    Question for NTs:

    Are you a more 'concise' or 'verbose' writer?

    This is affecting me at the moment as I am writing up stuff for university and constantly being over the word limits they set. Like at least 50% over!

    The usual advice I guess is to write up everything and then prune ruthlessly (but I usually can't prune more than say 25% without feeling like I am getting rid of content that's actually relevant!)

    Could it just be that I/we have a 'broader' sense of what is relevant to include in a piece of writing than (dare I say it..) S types?

    I do ramble a bit in speech as well but it's mostly writing where I have this issue.

    You would think after 10 years of academia that it's an academic 'skill' that can be learnt like note taking, Harvard referencing etc, but obviously still lacking here.

    Is it possible to learn to be a more concise writer?

    Do you write concisely from the beginning or rewrite?

    I wonder if this is a P thing, as the various _N_J co-workers and friends I have known have tended to be more concise, with the exception of one guy (who I always thought of as strongly P, but came out as a INTJ on the official test and feels that this 'fits') who rambles on in emails etc in a similar way to me.

    I feel a bit silly asking this as I should know after all this time, but I don't!
    Last edited by annnie; 08-30-2010 at 03:21 AM. Reason: clarification

  2. #2
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    I don't think it's an N/S thing, or even a P/J thing.

    I always had trouble with word limits because I tend to like to be as concise as humanly possible, and often feel like word/page requirements force me to add page after page of fluff. They mean I have to keep going long after I feel I've made my point.

    Perhaps you need to refine your topic? If you are going over page limits pretty consistently, perhaps you're picking a topic that is too broad in scope, leaving you feeling like every bit is too important to weed out. Do you use an outline? I'm a composition teacher, and I find that when students are too wordy, they're usually trying to cover too much ground, or they are falling prey to writing like they speak. I would outline your topic and try to whittle it down to the absolute bare essentials that would enable you to support your argument. Then write those paragraphs. You can always add more later if you find it's not enough. Shoot for the bare bones and then dress it up.

    For what it's worth, I don't think a lot of teachers care that much about page limits. I only give a page guideline because a lot of students won't write enough to cover the subject or provide enough detail. As long as a paper isn't rambly to the point of being unfocused, I don't mind reading a few extra pages.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member copperfish17's Avatar
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    Default

    Concise.






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  4. #4
    Member annnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Perhaps you need to refine your topic? If you are going over page limits pretty consistently, perhaps you're picking a topic that is too broad in scope, leaving you feeling like every bit is too important to weed out. Do you use an outline? I'm a composition teacher, and I find that when students are too wordy, they're usually trying to cover too much ground, or they are falling prey to writing like they speak. I would outline your topic and try to whittle it down to the absolute bare essentials that would enable you to support your argument. Then write those paragraphs. You can always add more later if you find it's not enough. Shoot for the bare bones and then dress it up.
    I think that is part of it, the temptation is to go for the 'all-encompassing' topic, the one that unifies, integrates and explains everything, rather than a clearly defined sub-topic-area - I guess projects that are too broad are doomed to fail usually (whether due to running out of time, getting tied up in knots with ideas, trying to cover too many things in not enough depth due to word limits...)

    For instance last year as part of one of the courses there was a design project, we had to design a 'widget' (in one of about 5-6 selected topic areas), write a proposal for it, develop a concept design, detailed design, market research, etc. Of course it can get out of control very easily and rather than an individual 'widget' I had come up with a whole modular integrated system and went quite a bit over the length to which the comments were something like "it was very long but then you did have a lot to write about"

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    For what it's worth, I don't think a lot of teachers care that much about page limits. I only give a page guideline because a lot of students won't write enough to cover the subject or provide enough detail. As long as a paper isn't rambly to the point of being unfocused, I don't mind reading a few extra pages.
    Yeah, a fixed number of words or pages seems essentially arbitrary! Unfortunately there are some quite strict rules that mean if you go over (I think) 10% of the specified word limit then the tutor is within their rights to start deducting marks for being verbose and unfocused...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Lucas's Avatar
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    I either go way under or way over.

    On some topics, I can take 1 page, and explain everything I think needs to be explained, and then have to fill that out to three pages because that is the limit.

    On other topics, I will submit 7 pages for 3 page assignments because I do not feel I can fit everything that is relevant to the topic into three pages.

    Unfortunately, I cannot seem to write things that actually meet the limits and my own requirements.
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  6. #6
    (blankpages) Xenon's Avatar
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    Depends on the topic. I can go on and on about some topics, but that's more because of having a lot of ideas and making a lot of connections to different things. I don't think I'm more verbose than necessary.

    I agree with Tallulah and annnie; I've often had to refine or narrow down my topics if I had a lot to say about something.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Both, depending on the targeted effect and the material.

  8. #8
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I'm capable of both, depending on how I feel and what the needs are of the piece.

    But I tend to be verbose; I'm usually trying to explain things exhaustively, and clarify the nuances. That's not short work.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    . Blank's Avatar
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    It depends on how interested I am on the subject. I think I tend to lean more toward concise though.


    I can't EVER imagine myself trying to write a 100 page report/research paper. I would go apeshit on somebody.
    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  10. #10
    Member annnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blankpages View Post
    Depends on the topic. I can go on and on about some topics, but that's more because of having a lot of ideas and making a lot of connections to different things. I don't think I'm more verbose than necessary.

    I agree with Tallulah and annnie; I've often had to refine or narrow down my topics if I had a lot to say about something.
    Hmm, I am trying to write up the thing right now (as well as reading Typology Central, checking facebook, etc..) and going on and on - I think I'll give up for now! Trouble is, everything is relevant to everything else, of course.

    See also: ridiculously long sentences. Can write a paragraph of 15-20 lines which (it turns out) is a single sentence with various nested brackets - I have been known to reach 3 or even 4 'deep' of nested brackets before now. Maybe it's because I'm an ENTP - or a programmer - or just have no discipline

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