Since I teach introduction to research courses and a large portion of our spring semester curriculum is writing succinctly with a scientific tone, I would utilize a photo editing package to distort a photo for a class activity.
As an exercise, I would ask the students to succinctly describe each consecutive photo as the photo became more, or less, distorted. After practicing with the whole class, I would then as the students to describe, with a limited number of words, the picture to a partner so that the partner can draw what they are hearing.
This quick class activity would be a great exercise in communication and presenting quality details in a succinct format. After comparing the photos given to “Student A” and the photos that were drawn by “Student B” the students will start to evaluate details versus unnecessary language. Eventually the word/character count would become as short as a “Tweet”.