4.5 Ways to Make Your Writing More Concise

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In today's busy world, your readers expect you to get to the point. Here are 4.5 ways you can be more concise in your writing so your readers will be more likely to read what you've written:

 1.      Avoid repetition. Many writers think that it's helpful to repeat information for emphasis, but it just makes sentences seem sloppy. If your readers see that you are repeating what they've just read, they'll be more likely to tune out and stop paying attention. It's ok to review major points at the end of a piece, but otherwise trust that your readers will remember (or can look back) to see what you've written.

2.      Be precise. Many writers like to pile on adjectives to help get descriptions right. Instead, think carefully about what adjectives are essential for understanding your meaning and leave out everything else. As Mark Twain said of the adjective, "when in doubt, strike it out."

3.      Avoid wordiness. Many writers feel that using complex words and complicated sentence structure makes them look smart. Instead, it makes their writing hard to read and causes audiences to stop reading. Keep it simple and use your information to make yourself seem smart instead.

4.      Choose strong words. Many writers use many words to try to convey a complicated idea or a multipart action; instead, try choosing a powerful word that says it all. For example, instead of saying the multipart "believed but could not prove" substitute a concise synonym that says it all: "assumed"

And the bonus lesson 4.5? Combine sentences. Not every idea needs a full sentence with a subject, verb, and object. Put incidental information into larger sentences to save space.

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Starting to work on my essay.

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This page contains a single entry by Legible Larry published on March 11, 2013 5:48 PM.

What Teachers Look for in Essays is the next entry in this blog.

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