Concise Writing: How to Omit Needless Words - Writers.com (2022)

This article is all about concise writing, summed up in the timeless phrase “Omit needless words.” We’ll examine some of the best advice on writing concisely, define what concise writing is and isn’t, and describe 11 writing habits that encourage concision.

“Omit Needless Words” and The Elements of Style

In 1920, William Strunk Jr. published The Elements of Style. This was a groundbreaking work for writers, as it was the first English style guide—emphasizing, among other things, the importance of concise writing.

Since then, Strunk’s style guide has been adapted and edited several times; in 1959, E. B. White doubled the book’s length with his own advice.

The Elements of Style has this to say about concision:

Omit needless words.

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subject only in outline, but that every word tell.

In the 21st century, this advice still rings true as a concise (see, they’re doing it!) definition of concise writing.

What Concise Writing Is

Concise writing is writing that has trimmed excess.

Concise writing is writing that has trimmed excess. It is writing that practices the prescription to “omit needless words.”

The key phrase here is “needless words.” These are words that muddy your writing: they distract the reader from central ideas, fail to carry their weight in meaning or impact, or cloud the reader’s picture of the world you are building. Even if you can’t point to these needless words, you’ll know they’re there, because they make writing feel loopy, slack, and unpolished.

Concision is not about writing in a clipped or spare fashion, but simply means that every word carries its weight—whether you’re writing in simple phrases or long lyrical sweeps.

Again, concision is not about writing in a clipped or spare fashion. Concise writing simply means writing that is clear, vivid, and impactful—writing in which every word carries its weight. This is true whether you’re writing in simple phrases or long lyrical sweeps.

The opposite of concise writing is not long writing; it is wasteful writing.

And so the opposite of concise writing is not long writing; it is wasteful writing, writing that fails to display an economy of language.

Omit Needless Words: 11 Elements of Concise Writing

Below are 11 writing habits that will tend to maximize the impact of each word you write. Some are positive patterns to consider adopting. In other cases, it’s easier to understand concise writing when you see what not to do. Learning to identify common mistakes that lead to wasteful writing will help you greatly with writing concisely.

1. Use Concrete Language and Expressive Verbs

The easiest way to write concisely is to use descriptive language. If you can condense an idea into a single word, it often makes more sense to use that word than to overstate it in 10 words. Expressive language goes hand-in-hand with concision.

One of my favorite authors, Ruth Ozeki, has mastered expressive language. Let’s look at the opening passage from her novel All Over Creation:

Concise example:

This paragraph is filled with nouns and active verbs, which are the core of expressive language. With a little bit of connective tissue (prepositions, pronouns, articles, etc.), those nouns and verbs combine into a beautiful image of our planet as a peach.

Notice, also, the frequency of each word category. Ozeki uses an equal amount of concrete nouns and verbs; additionally, she occasionally uses adjectives, though only about one-fourth as frequently as nouns and verbs. This expressive language comprises half of the entire passage.

What would a wordy, inexpressive version of the same passage look like? I’ve tried my best to recreate the verbose, unconcise alternative:

Wasteful example:

In this example, there are far more of those connective words. Further, many of the nouns and verbs are far from expressive: “story,” “corresponding,” and “never-ending violence” are concepts without specific images, and the reader isn’t clear on what the narrator is trying to compare.

When you’re struggling with a sentence, focus on the nouns and verbs; often, you need very little else.

(Video) Tips for Writing a Grant Narrative - Omit Needless Words!

The gist: words can carry a lot of weight, so let them. When you’re struggling with a sentence, focus on the nouns and verbs; often, you need very little else.

This piece of advice largely mirrors our article on great word choice, which has additional concise writing exercises. Take a look there for a further exploration of the parts of speech.

2. Write in the Active Voice

In our previous examples, we only highlighted the active verbs. It’s also possible to write in the passive voice, but doing so is generally less concise.

In an active voice sentence, the subjectdoes the action (the verb). In a passive voice sentence, the verb happens to the subject.

In active voice writing, the subject does the action. In passive voice writing, the action happens to the subject.

Active voice: My wife visited the beach.
Active voice: The rain is drenching us.

Passive voice: The beach was visited by my wife.
Passive voice: We are being drenched by the rain.

Passive voice phrases always use the verb “to be” in some form.

Passive voice phrases always use the verb “to be” in some form:

  • Be
  • Are
  • Is
  • Was
  • Been
  • Were
  • Being

Passive voice has a place in writing, but it often adds excess to your sentences. The passive voice waters down your verbs, making them less direct and impactful. Let’s take a quote from The Princess Bride and move it into the passive voice:

Active: Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

Passive: Hello. I am named Inigo Montoya. My father was killed by you. You are encouraged to prepare to die.

Hopefully this gives a sense of passive voice writing: it tends to feel wordy, bureaucratic, impersonal. In active voice writing, the subject takes action. In passive voice writing, action happens to a passive subject, and that makes for alienating reading.

Passive voice writing tends to feel wordy, bureaucratic, impersonal.

As a note, scientific and bureaucratic writing intentionally use the passive voice: writers in these fields want to be speaking impersonally, and so they change phrases like “The government requires your tax payment” to “Your tax payment is required” or “The five of us identified a new protein” to “A new protein was identified.” But this is rarely the goal in more creative and expressive forms of writing.

Don’t swear off passive verbs entirely, just use them sparingly. When you do use the passive voice, use it to offer important descriptive details.

Use passive voice at times to offer important descriptive details, or to describe events outside the subject’s control.

For example, here’s a great use of the passive voice, from the US Declaration of Independence:

Appropriate use of passive voice: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are createdequal, that theyare endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The passive voice emphasizes “men” and “equal,” shifting the lens from the Creator to Mankind himself. For its time (1776), this sentiment is rather radical, as it actively called for representative democracy in a world largely ruled by divinely-chosen kings.

You can also use passive voice when something happens outside of the subject’s control. For example, if your character gets hit by a large beach ball, despite being in line in a coffee shop, then the passive voice makes perfect sense.

Appropriate use of passive voice: As he turned from the cash register to scan for a seat, he was struck by an enormous beach ball, perhaps eight feet in diameter.

Here, passive voice properly highlights something happening to a passive subject: being hit by an unexpected beach ball. But concise writing is rarely a series of these kinds of accidents: the character above took other actions, like “turned from the cash register,” that would read very badly in passive voice (“As the cash register was turned away from by him…”).

The bottom line: be careful about the passive voice, as it often creates needless words.

3. Watch for Needless Repetition

A surprising amount of writing repeats itself. Redundancies occur inevitably in writing, but learning to recognize and condense them is a necessary element of concise writing.

Redundant language is language that doesn’t provide new or unique information.

Redundant language is language that doesn’t provide new or unique information. For example, if I started writing about the green grass, that would be rather redundant, since grass—unless otherwise specified—is green. If this greenness is somehow unusual, then perhaps it makes sense to write about, but if the green grass is just a background part of the world I’m building, I don’t need to tell you it’s green—and you don’t need to be told, either.

(Video) Delete Needless Words -- Part 1

We also let redundancies slip when relying on colloquial turns-of-phrase. A lot of the phrases we use in English are redundant, especially transition statements and verbal colloquialisms. To give you an example, the chart below lists common English phrases on the left, with concise synonyms on the right. You may use these redundant colloquialisms in dialogue, but we recommend almost never using them in poetry or the narration of prose.

After seeing these examples, you may notice how easily redundancies slip past us. We speak many of these phrases without thinking about them; but as writers, we have to start noticing when our words aren’t working. Limiting your use of adjectives, adverbs, and colloquial phrases is a good place to start: each is a hotbed of redundancy, as we’ll discuss.

4. Limit Your Use of Adverbs

I’ve just mentioned a crucial rule for concise writing: limit your adverbs and adjectives. What do I have against these parts of speech? It’s nothing personal, but when writers omit needless words, adverbs are often the first to go.

Adverbs are words which modify verbs or adjectives.

What are adverbs? They are words which modify verbs or adjectives. Adverbs act like adjectives for verbs (and sometimes for adjectives), offering additional information about the way the verbs are performed.

Let’s look at a simple sentence that uses an adverb:

Sentence with adverb: The dog sat lazily on the couch.

Here, the adverb “lazily” modifies the verb “sits.” As the author of this sentence, I have decided that the dog’s laziness is crucial information for the reader.

The English language has a lot of words: we often don’t need to use an adverb because there’s a verb that denotes the same thing.

However, I have also used an extra word to describe that laziness. The English language has a lot of words: we often don’t need to use an adverb because there’s a verb that denotes the same thing. The following adverb-less sentences all convey the same information, in fewer words:

  • The dog rested on the couch.
  • The dog relaxed on the couch.
  • The dog lounged on the couch.
  • The dog lazed on the couch.

Each of these examples portray different aspects of laziness, without ever using the word “lazily.”

Adverbs often violate the “Show, don’t tell” rule of writing, as they present excess information instead of inviting the reader to visualize the scene directly. See the following two examples for “Show, don’t tell” alternatives to our initial sentence:

  • The dog curled into the couch.
  • The dog sighed and sank deeper into the couch cushions.

The issue is not word count; it’s that “lazily” works—well, lazily. It tells your readers what to know rather than inviting them into the world you’re creating, or at least looking for a verb that could carry its weight. It’s a tiny missed opportunity.

Don’t forswear adverbs entirely, in part because “entirely” is an adverb.

Don’t forswear adverbs entirely, in part because “entirely” is an adverb. But the thesaurus is often your friend as a writer, and if a shorter equivalent exists, you should use it most of the time. If you can’t find the right verb, then go ahead and use an adverb: I don’t think there’s a simple English synonym for an activity like “surf ironically.” But for phrases like “destroy completely” (“obliterate,” “annihilate,” or simply “destroy”) or “descend suddenly” (“plummet,” “tumble,” “fall”) you’ve definitely got some options.

5. Don’t Overuse Adjectives

You don’t want an adjective to do a noun’s work.

Overuse of adjectives can also threaten concise writing. You don’t want an adjective to do a noun’s work; if there’s a noun that’s easy to visualize, you don’t need adjectives to modify that noun.

For example, you don’t need to tell us about the color of a fire hydrant—unless that color is notably different.

Unnecessary: They drove past the red fire hydrant.

Most readers, at least in the United States, will assume that the fire hydrant is red.

Better: They drove past the fire hydrant.
Or, necessary again: They drove past the aquamarine fire hydrant.

What an unusual color for a fire hydrant! Perhaps this is a doorway to other, equally discolored objects throughout the city. Perhaps the road paint is green, the stop signs are indigo, and the streetlights shine like spider’s silk in moonlight.

Of course, this doesn’t apply just to colors. Adjectives can be used in any of the following ways:

  • Physical traits: furry, soft, lukewarm, etc.
  • Emotional traits: happy, excited, suspicious, etc.
  • Quantities: three flowers, six moons, two roommates, etc.
  • Comparison: the tastier drink, the ugliest house, the hottest day, etc.

Overuse of adjectives leads to a muddy, overemphatic style that can feel like the writer is having readers’ experience for them.

(Video) 4 Tips to IMPROVE YOUR WRITING! How to Write Concisely and Clearly

Overuse of adjectives leads to a muddy, overemphatic style that, in extreme cases, feels like the writer is having readers’ experience for them:

Muddy: We savored the cool creamy white-and-red strawberry milkshakes, an almost sinfully delicious relief on a sweltering midsummer July day.

Consider which adjectives really matter for the reader’s own experience:

Better: We enjoyed strawberry milkshakes in the July heat.

Let your nouns do most of the work, and bring in the occasional adjective to help paint a more vivid picture.

Writers need adjectives more frequently than they need adverbs, but don’t overuse them: hopefully fewer than half of your nouns will carry adjectival modifiers. Let your nouns do most of the work, and bring in the occasional adjective to help paint a more vivid picture.

6. One Idea per Sentence

In ye olde days of Classic Literature, writers often wrote sprawling sentences that covered a wide range of images or ideas without pause. Just take a look at the opening sentence of A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

These are classic lines in Western literature, and they work partly because their chaos and jumble nicely mirrors the chaos and jumble of the French Revolution. However, we strongly encourage you not to write this way unless you’ve got an extremely good reason. To juxtapose numerous Big Concepts in a breathless jumble worked for Dickens in this instance, but it’s much less likely to work for modern sensibilities, and even here it makes for confusing and almost overwhelming reading.

The key word is “breathless”: in prose like the above there’s no chance for us, as readers, to collect our thoughts. This is where “one idea per sentence” comes in as good advice.

Let’s take a sentence that says too many things, and see how we might rework it.

Confusing: The car’s totaled; you’ll never fix it, and even if you could I don’t know how that helps me find work since no one’s hiring, not since the bauxite mine closed.

Easier to read, but now choppy: The car’s totaled. You’ll never fix it. Even if you could, I don’t know how that helps me find work. No one’s hiring, not since the bauxite mine closed.

Clearer: The car’s totaled; you’ll never fix it. Even if you could, how does that help me find work? No one’s hiring, not since the bauxite mine closed.

The reworked example above takes care not to chain together choppy declarative sentences—which can be one risk of overapplying a “one idea per sentence” style—and manages to convey each core idea with more clarity and focus.

7. Avoid Qualifying Sentences

Qualifying sentences exist to modify another sentence, adding contributing details. They often end up adding needless words.

Wordy: Clifford is a dog. He is big and red.

Concise: Clifford is a big red dog.

The wordy example above has a second sentence tacked awkwardly after the first sentence, providing information that the first sentence could provide.

In general, try to limit your use of qualifying sentences. Instead, combine descriptions into single sentences, and omit needless words from there.

8. Don’t Overrely on Auxiliary Words

Auxiliary words are “connective tissue” words. They don’t tell you the main information, but they help provide direction, clarifying the relationship between nouns and verbs. Most sentences require a little bit of connective tissue, but only write auxiliary words when needed; there are many opportunities for you to omit needless words here.

The following are types of auxiliary words:

  • Auxiliary verbs: these are verbs which indicate action while also modifying the main verb of a sentence. In English, the main auxiliary verbs are be, do, and have. In the sentence “I can help you,” “can” is the auxiliary verb, because it modifies “help,” the main verb. (“Help” is the main verb because it is the main action. “I can you” isn’t a sentence, but “I help you” is.)
  • Prepositions: words that provide direction for verbs. These words indicate how a verb affects a noun. Some prepositions include: for, from, to, in, out, on, off, among, with, without, across, about, above, below, since, under, through.
  • Conjunctions: words that connect or separate nouns. The three conjunctions are “and,” “but,” and “or.”
  • Determiners: These are words which exist solely to indicate something. Definite determiners include words like “that,” “these,” “who,” and “which.” (“A,” “an,” and “the” are articles, which is the “indirect” form of a determiner. Articles are grammatically necessary; non-articles are often optional.)
  • Pronouns: these are words that stand in place for nouns. You should only use pronouns if the noun has already been used, and you should use them primarily for stylistic purposes—to avoid awkward repetitions or to write dialogue, for example. Some pronouns include: he, his, her, hers, they, theirs, who, your, it.

Auxiliary word bonanza: My dragon has a tail that is very long and that stretches above my roof, and which could probably touch a passing jet if it was following a flight path which was passing low to the ground somewhere nearby us.

Better: My dragon’s long tail stretches above my roof, and could probably touch a passing jet with a low flight plan.

Try to write sentences that are mostly nouns, verbs, and adjectives, and use auxiliary words when they are grammatically necessary or present crucial information.

9. Limit Turns of Phrase

The English language has countless idioms, colloquial expressions, and vernaculars. In other words, turns of phrase—a great opportunity to omit needless words.

A turn of phrase is any sort of expression that the audience won’t understand from context alone. The phrase means something that the words themselves don’t denote, such as the phrase “under the weather,” which means “sick.”

(Video) English Writing Skills Live Lesson: omit needless words (style) #writing

Many figures of speech are both wordy and clichéd, and substitute others’ generalities for your own specifics.

Many figures of speech are both wordy and clichéd. Occasionally, you can work a figure of speech into something tongue-in-cheek, but often, using them in your writing simply substitutes others’ generalities for your own specifics.

Clichéd: When he blew off our date, it only added fuel to the fire.

Better: I grew even angrier at him when he didn’t show up for our date.

Here’s a great list of common idioms to avoid for most English dialects. Turns of phrase simply don’t carry the same weight that concise writing does, so let your words speak for themselves.

10. Limit the Use of Fancy Words

In general, this article advises using fewer words where possible, but this is certainly not an absolute rule. Simple multi-word phrases are often significantly clearer than obscure, esoteric words that say the same thing. Simple writing is more concise—in the sense that the reader can more easily glean meaning—even if it uses more words overall.

Simple writing is more concise, in that the reader can more easily glean meaning.

Over-fancy: Clandestinely, Jordan lamented being the school’s cynosure.

Readable: Secretly, Jordan regretted being the school’s center of attention.

Although the “smart-sounding” sentence is concise, it’s far from readable. And longer words often carry connotations you may not want: “clandestinely” isn’t actually a great word choice in the first sentence above, because it usually means “secretive in the manner of professional spies” rather than “secretive in the manner of shy high school students.”

Use fancy words sparingly, when they illuminate something that simpler language cannot.

Concision means maximizing what we offer readers for their time and effort. Big words sometimes help with this: if we write “a clandestine meeting” rather than “a meeting conducted in an environment of secrecy,” we’ve helped our readers. But a habit of using big words runs counter to concision. Use “fancy” words sparingly, when they illuminate something that simpler language cannot.

11. Avoid Overstatement

Overstatement is any sort of excessive, superlative description. It’s not just a red car, it’s the reddest car on the road; it’s not just a warm day, but the hottest day imaginable.

Overstatement reduces impact, by diminishing the writer’s legitimacy.

Overstatement aims at maximum impact—but it actually reduces impact, by diminishing the writer’s legitimacy. It’s like someone who bangs the table after everything he says: can we take this person seriously? Is everything that emphatic?

Overwritten: My passion was all-consuming, surpassing, mind-numbing, a raging bonfire that engulfed the entire universe and collapsed all of reality into a single infinitely beguiling point: him.

Better: I felt overwhelming passion for him.

Hyperbole can be an effective literary device. However, you should use superlative descriptions sparingly. The imagery in your writing should do the work for the reader, showing them the red car or hot day rather than telling them that it’s a huge deal.

Are These Concise Writing Tips Universal?

In other words, should you abide by all of these tips, all the time?

should you abide by all of these tips, all the time? Not at all.

Not at all. Writers break the rules all the time, testing the barriers of language and meaning. However, in order for us to break the rules, we must first learn the rules.

And our rule-breaking should be within an overall goal of best using the reader’s time and attention—which is what concise writing and “omit needless words” is all about. That’s not a rule worth breaking.

Omit Needless Words in a Writing Workshop

It’s hard to be objective about our own work, and concise writing requires you to omit needless words ruthlessly. A writing workshop can help. Writing workshops can pinpoint excess words at a line level and help clean up the work’s style—something every writer needs to fix in revision.

An extra set of eyes never hurts when omitting needless words, so take a look at our upcoming courses!

Concise writing will both sharpen and polish your writing style. Put these tips to practice, and watch how your language gains weight, clarity, and power.

Take your next online writing course with our award-winning instructors!

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FAQs

Why do you think it is better to omit needless words in writing? ›

Omitting needless words, or substituting a simple word for one of these phrases, makes your writing clearer, cleaner, and more concise. And it gives the reader a feeling of confidence in your ability to communicate your ideas.

What should be avoided when writing concisely? ›

Writing Concisely
  • Eliminate unnecessary phrases and redundancies. ...
  • Use clear and straightforward language. ...
  • Write in active voice. ...
  • Shorten wordy phrases. ...
  • Avoid starting sentences with "there is", "there are", or "it is". ...
  • Eliminate extra nouns. ...
  • Eliminate filler words such as "that", "of", or "up".

How do you fix conciseness in writing? ›

Writing Concisely
  1. Eliminate redundant pairs. When the first word in a pair has roughly the same meaning as the second, choose one. ...
  2. Delete unnecessary qualifiers. ...
  3. Identify and reduce prepositional phrases. ...
  4. Locate and delete unnecessary modifiers. ...
  5. Replace a phrase with a word. ...
  6. Identify negatives and change them to affirmatives.

Who wrote Omit needless words? ›

from Cornell in 1896, Strunk taught at the university for his entire career, from 1899 to 1937. He first published his book privately for use in his own English classes. Among Strunk's legendary commandments: "Omit needless words!"; "Do not break sentences in two"; and "Use the active voice."

What are omitted words? ›

Omitted words refer to any text that has been excluded from a text submission. Omitted words can include words inside quotation marks, references, table of contents, and titles.

What do you call unnecessary words in a sentence? ›

A word which adds nothing extra to a sentence is called a pleonasm. A word which merely repeats the meaning of another word in an expression is called a tautology. These are both cases of redundant words and can be omitted. Listed below are a few redundant expressions commonly used.

What is writing in concise manner? ›

Concise writing means using the fewest words possible to convey an idea clearly. There's a reason why writing concisely is recommended so often—it's excellent advice.

How do I become more concise? ›

How to speak more concisely
  1. Plan what you want to say. One of the best ways to ensure you speak concisely is to plan what you would like to say before you start speaking. ...
  2. Be mindful of over-explaining. ...
  3. Try to refrain from using filler words. ...
  4. Use a specific example. ...
  5. Consider your audience. ...
  6. Record yourself speaking.
25 Aug 2021

Which practice is most important to clear writing? ›

Practicing brevity is the key success to clear writing. Brevity simply means using fewer words but saying more. For that you need to practice writing short and simple sentences. A long sentence makes it more complicated to understand the underlying idea and increases the chances of committing more mistakes.

How do you write a clear and concise manner? ›

10 Tips for Writing Clear, Concise Sentences
  1. Be Clear About Your Meaning. ...
  2. Eliminate Unnecessary Words and Phrases. ...
  3. Use the Active Voice. ...
  4. Get Rid of That. ...
  5. Avoid Starting with There Is. ...
  6. Reduce Unneeded Repetition. ...
  7. Question the Use of Really. ...
  8. Move Away from Negatives.

What are the three obstacles to clear and concise writing how can you overcome it? ›

Readers and audiences treasure concise writing.
...
7 Tips for Writing Clearly and Concisely
  • Embrace brevity. ...
  • Use words you fully understand. ...
  • Use technical terms sparingly. ...
  • Write in the active voice. ...
  • Use qualifiers and intensifiers judiciously. ...
  • Vary sentence length. ...
  • Watch out for nominalizations.
23 Aug 2021

How do you improve clarity in writing? ›

There are many strategies for improving the clarity of your sentences and your papers.
  1. Go from old to new information. ...
  2. Be careful about placement of subordinate clauses. ...
  3. Use active voice. ...
  4. Use parallel constructions. ...
  5. Avoid noun strings. ...
  6. Avoid overusing noun forms of verbs. ...
  7. Avoid multiple negatives.

What has been described as one of the elementary principles of writing? ›

Omit needless words.

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

What does it mean to make the paragraph the unit of composition? ›

Make the paragraph the unit of composition

The paragraph is the essential unit of thought in writing. Although it may consist of a single sentence, it is usually a group of sentences that develop one main point or controlling idea.

What is an example of an omission? ›

Omission is defined as the act of omitting, or leaving something out; a piece of information or thing that is left out. An example of omission is information left out of a report. An example of omission is the price of the new shoes that you didn't reveal.

How do you identify omitted words? ›

An ellipsis that indicates the omission of one or more words within a sentence consists of three spaced dots.

How do you write omission? ›

How to do omission Class 10 / Omission in English for 6 - YouTube

How do you stop using filler words in writing? ›

Filler words are almost always fluff. Cut unnecessary words to keep your sentences tight and your readers happy. Try reading through paragraphs from the end of the piece back to the beginning. Read your sentences out loud and pay attention to the sound, rhythm, and flow of the pieces.

What is an example of pleonasm? ›

the use of more words than are needed to express a meaning, done either unintentionally or for emphasis; an example of this: An example of pleonasm might be "kick it with your feet." There is a looseness in his writing, as in the pleonasm "I myself." Compare. tautology.

How can one cut down on redundant words give examples? ›

Here are some common examples of redundant phrases:
  1. “small in size” or “large in size”
  2. “true facts”
  3. “basic fundamentals”
  4. “past history”
  5. “smiled happily”
  6. “evolve over time”
  7. “consensus of opinion”

What is concise example? ›

Concise definition

Expressing much in few words; clear and succinct. Brief, yet including all important information. The definition of concise is expressing briefly and clearly. An example of concise is "I like apples."

Why is it important to be clear and concise? ›

Why should I write clearly and concisely? To succeed in your communication, you need to keep your audience's attention, and your audience needs to read through documents effortlessly and with understanding. If your writing is difficult to follow, your readers may lose interest (and patience).

What is concise statement? ›

Concise, succinct, terse all refer to speech or writing that uses few words to say much. Concise usually implies that unnecessary details or verbiage have been eliminated from a more wordy statement: a concise summary of the speech.

What is the first step towards being concise? ›

Convey the central idea first.

Start your talk with the most important idea. Give your audience the main headline of what you want to say. This also helps your audience follow your line of thinking. Your most important point won't get lost.

What is 7 C's of communication? ›

The seven C's of communication is a list of principles for written and spoken communications to ensure that they are effective. The seven C's are: clear, correct, complete, concrete, concise, considered and courteous.

Why is it so hard for people to write? ›

It's hard because doing it well matters, because stories matter, and the details matter, and there are often a lot of details. Sometimes they take years to organize. The feelings and ideas and memories that we put into the writing also matter, and are layered, and we can't force an understanding of them.

How do you write thoughts clearly? ›

6 Ways for Writers to Begin Thinking Clearly
  1. Inhale Information. Here's where it all starts. ...
  2. Begin With an Emotional Premise. ...
  3. Identify Your Purpose at Every Level of the Story. ...
  4. Asking the Right Questions. ...
  5. Recognize Patterns and Use Them as Shortcuts. ...
  6. Hack Your Brain.
25 Jun 2018

How can I improve my written communication skills? ›

8 best practices to improve written communication
  1. Think about the purpose of your message.
  2. Put yourself in your reader's shoes.
  3. Keep it simple.
  4. Keep a place to jot down thoughts and ideas.
  5. Write and read often.
  6. Edit fiercely and read the message out loud.
  7. Ask for help.
  8. Constructive criticism as growth.
21 Jul 2021

What is Omit needless words mean? ›

Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.

Is current incumbent redundant? ›

' The same caveat given in other cases also applies here: An adjective-noun pair can be redundant in one context and not in another. For example, the phrase 'current incumbent' is redundant in the first sentence below, but not in the second.

How do you explain concise? ›

Concise, succinct, terse all refer to speech or writing that uses few words to say much. Concise usually implies that unnecessary details or verbiage have been eliminated from a more wordy statement: a concise summary of the speech.

What is another word for more concise? ›

Some common synonyms of concise are compendious, laconic, pithy, succinct, summary, and terse. While all these words mean "very brief in statement or expression," concise suggests the removal of all that is superfluous or elaborative.

What is concise message? ›

Concise writing means using the fewest words possible to convey an idea clearly. There's a reason why writing concisely is recommended so often—it's excellent advice.

What are redundant phrases? ›

When you use a redundant phrase you are using two or more words that mean the same thing. They add nothing new. Redundancies pad your writing and bore you readers. The longer sentences are liable to make people stop reading altogether.

Is free gift redundant? ›

Explanation: Free gift is redundant. It's similar to completely naked or advance planning or reiterate again. Anything that is a gift is free; otherwise, it isn't a gift.

Videos

1. Concise Writing Tutorial
(Ms. Hastings)
2. Make Your Writing Concise
(Brandtology TrainingTeam)
3. Scholars Band | How Can Academic Writing Boost Your Career?
(Scholars Band)
4. How To Write More Concisely: the Trouble With Writing Podcast
(The GRAMMAR DETECTIVE)
5. Writing for Clients course: Delete unnecessary words | quimbee.com
(Quimbee)
6. Omit Needless Words: In order to
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