• Patrick Power

Words from Chinese III: The Case of 'Double Reduction'


The impact of government policy is an area of research focus in many fields. In education, we are anticipating reading many essays, dissertations and theses over the coming years that look at the impact of the Chinese government’s new policy directive, Opinions on Further Reducing the Burden of Homework and Off-Campus Training for Compulsory Education Students, which is popularly known as the ‘double reduction’ policy as it aims to reduce students’ homework and also reduce after-school tutoring. This policy hit the private tutoring sector in China like an earthquake, wiping billions off the value of companies like New Oriental Education.


In fact, we are already seeing references to the policy in students' personal statements and essays, but as the official title is so long, most writers prefer to describe it as the ‘double reduction’ policy. However, we have seen it written in various ways:


Double Reduction, ‘Double Reduction’, double-reduction and even DoubleReduction.


Our advice is to describe the policy as the ‘double reduction’ policy. As this is not the official title of a government decision, it is not necessary to capitalise it. Also, use quotation marks to signify that this is an unofficial title. Given the pace of China’s regulatory reform, there are many other examples of this kind of short hand, such as the ‘dual circulation’ economic strategy and the drive to achieve ‘common prosperity’. Please write them as you see here!

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