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Revising with Williams

October 14, 2011

The Original Sentences: “The safety and security of our students, staff, administrators, faculty, contractors and visitors is extremely important to Eastern Michigan University. Threats, acts of aggression and threatening or violent behavior are not tolerated by or toward students, staff administrators, faculty, contractors or visitors. All reports of incidents will be taken seriously and will be dealt with appropriately.”

My Revision:”The safety and security of everyone attending or in our employ is important to Eastern Michigan University. Acts of aggression and threatening or violent behavior are not tolerated by or toward anyone at Eastern Michigan University. All reports of incidents will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately.”

I found this in the catalog, under Undergraduate Policies and Information, so I figured it was fair game. I chose this set of sentences because it just seemed to go on forever. It had excessively used words to describe the various people that could hurt or be hurt by each other, and it chose not to consolidate some verbs that were redundant, all in an effort to make the rules sound more complex than they actually are (to cover themselves legally, most likely). I chose to edit this because I found this selection to be very turgid, even compared to other possible choices (of which there were many). The repetition of the types of people at Eastern Michigan University in the second sentence was not needed, even if the first sentence stayed the same, as we already know the kinds of people in the school by then. While reading, I also found that the excessive listing to detract from what the writer intended to communicate, and I felt like some meaning was lost through their use of technical jargon. Williams could see this as a sin against clarity, as the audience may lack an understanding of this complex language, and fail to grasp their point. This would make writing the rule at all pointless.

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