The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
Clear, Concise Sentences

Reduce unnecessary prepositional phrases

Sometimes prepositional phrases aren't really necessary, especially when you use them (instead of an apostrophe + s) to denote possession of an object.

Also, try to avoid using too many prepositional phrases in a single sentence, since they can obscure the main subject and action of a sentence.

Examples

Unnecessary phrase: The opinion of the manager

Correction: The manager's opinion

Unnecessary phrase: The obvious effect of such a range of reference is to assure the audience of the author's range of learning and intellect.

Correction: The wide-ranging references in this talk assure the audience that the author is intelligent and well-read.

Unnecessary phrase: It is a matter of the gravest possible importance to the health of anyone with a history of a problem with disease of the heart that he or she should avoid the sort of foods with a high percentage of saturated fats.

Correction: Anyone with a history of heart disease should avoid saturated fats.

(Heffernan and Lincoln, 1996, p. 55)