Quantcast Excessive Paragraphing

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5.  SCOPE PARAGRAPHS:  Exclude scope paragraphs at the beginning
o f each section.  A l s o exclude a listing of related subjects and
where they are located.
6.  EXCESSIVE PARAGRAPHING:  Do not "overparagraph." Keep the
number of levels of subparagraphs to a bare minimum.  Avoid the use
o f very broad categories.  The most abused paragraph title is
"Requirements."  T h i s automatically adds another decimal point to
all paragraphs which follow and it serves no purpose since
e v e r y t h i n g in a specification can be classified as a "requirement."
U n f o r t u n a t e l y this title is used occasionally in "TS"
s p e c i f i c a t i o n s , b u t will be eliminated by future revisions..
CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD SPECIFICATION:
7.
a.
All materials noted on the drawings can be found Clearly
and concisely specified under the same terminology in the
specification.
b.
Edit out references to materials, supplies. equipment, or
methods unrelated to the job.
c.
F i t the specification to the magnitude of the job.  For
i n s t a n c e , a yard of concrete need not be specified by 15
pages of data while ,a $15,000 hoist is specified by a
passing reference to an industry standard.
Exercise care-when using a reference so-that the requirements are
properly " t a i l o r e d . "  T a i l o r i n g is the process by which the
i n d i v i d u a l requirements (sections, paragraphs, or sentences) of the
s e l e c t e d specifications and standards are evaluated to assure that
each tailored document invoked, states only the minimum needs of the
Government:  S p e c i f i e r s tend to reference standards and
s p e c i f i c a t i o n s in their entirety without conducting a detailed
t e c h n i c a l review of the total content of the referenced documents.
Do not use nonessential documents.  F o r example, each
standardization document referenced in a specification might in turn
reference 20 or so other standardization documents;  This means that
b y referencing 50 of these documents in a project, it would
typically require compliance with 1,000 second tier documents, plus
20,000 third tier documents.  R e f e r e n c e specifications listed under
APPLICABLE PUBLICATIONS must be used in the body of the
specification and vice versa.
8.  CLARITY AND PHRASING:  T h e responsibilities of the Contractor
s h a l l be carefully defined and precisely expressed.  C o n t r a c t
s p e c i f i c a t i o n s must be clearly and concisely worded. and state
exactly what will be required from the Contractor in every case.
Phrasing which is not clear, t e n d s to cause the bidders to include a
c o n t i n g e n c y increment in their bid prices.
Y-SPEC 1/89
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