6 Ways to Cut Wordiness for More Effective Writing
Being able to get your message across clearly and effectively with fewer words can be very beneficial in many contexts. “Saying it with less” can actually improve clarity to the reader and help you to hold their precious attention more fully.
Here are six quick tips for “trimming the fat” and getting your message across as efficiently as possible.
1. “Because” it’s so simple
Replace longer phrases such as:
“Due to the fact that…”
It’s straight to the point, no fluffy business.
2. Cut doubled words down
mutual agreement =
whether or not = whether
again reconsider =
consensus of agreement = consensus
3. Chop “there are/is” and the relative pronoun
Short sentences of [noun][verb] work just as well. For example:
“There are some actors who like to use this technique.”
“Some actors like to use this technique.”
4. Drop formulaic phrases for single word forms
Either use a single word form instead or cut these out altogether.
due to the fact that (because)
in the coming time (soon)
with regards to (regarding)
5. Drop indefinite articles when appropriate
Example: “have/had a/n [noun] on”
Remove “have/had a/n” and “on” and then replace the noun with a verb.
For example: “She had an influence on my career”
Becomes: “She influenced my career.”
6. Cull your writing for all non-essential words
Finally, read through your writing and look for all non-essential words that you can remove. Be merciless. You can really cut down word count here and make your writing a more concise, undiluted message.
Written by Emma Wilson for EnglishClub July 2013
Emma Wilson is a professional editor for Cambridge Proofreading. She enjoys writing about English language topics.