All writers have their unique strengths and struggles. If you have ever struggled with wordy, lengthy, or even run-on sentences, this article will help you to tighten those wordy sections of your paper so that your writing is more concise and dynamic.
The first thing to remember is that long sentences are not necessarily words, nor are short sentences always brief. A sentence is wordy if it can be tightened without loss of meaning. Sentences are wordy for a variety of reasons, as well. One way in which sentences are wordy is due to redundancy.
To help you eliminate redundancies in your writing, let’s look at a few examples.
One example of a redundant sentence: “The flower was yellow in color.”
This sentence is redundant and could be much more concise. Instead, you could say “The flower was yellow.” This may seem like a minor or tedious change, but if all of your sentences are cleaned up in this way, the overall effect is much more polished.
Another important tip is avoiding repetition of words unnecessarily.
An example of this kind of sentence: “Our next patient, in room two, is a psychologically ill patient.” The word “victim” in this examples is used twice and seems redundant. Instead, you could write “Our next patient, in room two, is psychologically ill.” The sentence still works but is much cleaner and easier to read.
Another way to eliminate wordy sentences is to cut empty or inflated phrases. Rather than saying “In my opinion, the movie is overrated,” you could only say “The movie is overrated.”
You could also simplify the structure of your sentences.
For example, look at the following sentence: “Investigators were involved in studying the effect of classical music on unborn babies.” This isn’t a bad sentence, so to speak, but it could be more concise. You could write “Investigators studied the effect of classical music on unborn babies” instead.
Lastly, try to reduce clauses to phrases & phrases to single words. Look at the following sentence: “We took a side trip to Monticello, which was the home of Thomas Jefferson.”
With just a little bit of revision, this sentence could turn into the following: “We took a side trip to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.” Again, this seemingly small change makes a difference especially if you can clean up and edit all of your sentences for wordiness.
Now that we’ve discussed tips for eliminating unneeded words, it is also important to consider the importance of finding the appropriate words.
When looking for the best word to use, you don’t necessarily need to use the dictionary or thesaurus for bigger words; look instead for the exact name. Look for the perfect word. Learn secrets to concise writing and use it.
You can start by selecting words with appropriate connotations. Think about what each word means, but also the associations that readers have with each word. The word “puppy” conjures up a different association than the word “mutt,” for example.
If you try these techniques in your writing, especially during the revision stage. You may be surprised by the results a clear, concise, and polished piece of writing.