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HOW TO BE CONCISE WHEN WRITING

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CONCISEWRITING

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Have you ever lost interest while reading something because it's too long or wordy?Concise writing means using the fewest words possible to convey an idea clearly.

Reading sprawling sentences can feel overwhelming, confusing, or boring.

Concise writing helps grab and hold your reader’s attention.

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ELIMINATE redundant words

STRENGTHEN weak adjectives

REMOVE vague nouns

CONSTRUCT active sentences

ELIMINATE filler words

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ELIMINATE redundant words

Cutting redundant words like tautologies can help create stronger, more direct sentences. Tautologies are expressions or phrases that repeat the same information. They take up unnecessary space and can distract your reader. Getting rid of them simplifies sentences and gets your point across faster. Wordy: In my opinion, I think that’s a problem. Concise: In my opinion, that’s a problem.Wordy: The course had several necessary requirements. Concise: The course had several requirements.

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STRENGTHEN weak adjectives

Using strong, descriptive adjectives helps trim down sentence length. Look for places where you’ve used two words to describe something when one would do. Strengthening your vocabulary can help you ensure that you’re using the best word for the situation and that all of your words deserve to be in your sentence. Plus, strong adjectives make your writing more vibrant! Wordy: Brunch was very good. Concise: Brunch was superb. Wordy: She struggled to sit through his really boring speech. Concise: She struggled to sit through his tedious speech.

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REMOVE vague nouns

Do all of your nouns actually move your point forward? If not, it may be time to say goodbye. Eliminating these unnecessary words will help make your writing more direct and clear. Wordy: Career growth was an important factor in why I decided to join. Concise: I joined to advance my career. Wordy: I’m interested in the areas of history and biology. Concise: I’m interested in history and biology.

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ELIMINATE filler words

Filler words are words that add no meaning or value to a sentence and simply “fill” the space. They can be easily removed or replaced, but often inadvertently creep up in writing since we’re so used to using them in our speech. Wordy: For all intents and purposes, this project will be outsourced. Concise: This project will be outsourced. Wordy: Needless to say, I think we should get grilled cheese. Concise: We should get grilled cheese.

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CONSTRUCT active sentences

Some sentence structures tend to be wordier than others. Although the passive voice isn’t incorrect and is completely fine to use in moderation, it’s often a weaker type of sentence construction. Keep most of your sentences in active voice—you’ll find that they tend to be more concise and direct. Wordy: If this was something caused on our end, it might be something to be aware of. Concise: We should be aware of this in case something on our end caused it.Wordy: The error message was written by robots. Concise: Robots wrote the error message.

KEEP YOUR SENTENCES TO 25-30 WORDSit’s almost impossible to keep control of a sentence that’s over about 40 words, and it’s very hard to follow one. You really can’t get lost in a 25 word sentence, as a thinker, a writer or a reader.ONLY EXPLAIN ONE IDEA AT A TIME.

GET RID OF ADVERBSAdverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind. … With adverbs, the writer usually tells us he or she is afraid he/she isn’t expressing himself/herself clearly, that he or she is not getting the point or the picture across.

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ADVERBS

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THANK YOU!