The 5 Minute Guide to Learning How to Write Concisely
Every day we receive tons of information, most of which is not useful to us at all. The current hectic lifestyle demands us always to stay alert and focused. We want to be aware of everything and everyone. We cannot afford to slow down and miss out as well as we cannot devote our full attention to one single thing. So, we just drop by, skim, have a glance, scroll, etc. Too much new and interesting is going on around and we have too little time to grasp it all. That is why time saving is among the first priority in all spheres. And writing is not an exception.
Conciseness is a New Trend
The times of eloquence have sunk into oblivion. To make your writing effective, you have to make it clear and closer to the point – you have to make it concise. Below you can find some tips on how to write concisely:
- Replace vague expressions with more specific and stronger words. Of course, finding a more suitable word might require some effort or even make you search a thesaurus, but the time and energy spent will be definitely paid off by the number of your readers and followers.
Wordy (14 words): Jane believes but cannot confirm that Mike has feelings of great affection for her.
Concise (6 words): Jane assumes that Mike adores her.
- Delete all words that bring excessive detail or/and explain the obvious. You should always consider your audience when you write. Most people do not need extra explanations of the obvious notions, and they get easily annoyed when they spot that.
Wordy (33 words): Just imagine a bright mental picture of someone who is fully engaged in the demanding intellectual activity which involves trying to learn the common rules of how to play the game of chess.
Concise (9 words): Imagine someone trying to learn how to play chess.
- Replace phrases with single words or adjectives. Actually, it is one of the most common writers’ problems.
Wordy: The employee showing the best performance…
Concise: The best-performing employee…
- Change redundant that, which, and who clauses. To eliminate wordiness, you should replace modifying clauses with single words and phrases where possible.
Wordy: The book which was published recently…
Concise: The recently published book…
- Change passive into active (only if the focus from the action can be shifted to the doer without the loss of the intended meaning).
Wordy: The book was published by Mr. Smith.
Concise: Mr. Smith published the book.
- Avoid phrases that repeat words having a similar meaning and omit word pairs that imply each other.
For example: completely finish, basic fundamentals, past history, important essentials, and so on.
- Do not overuse noun forms of verbs. It’s better to substitute nominalizations (noun forms) with verb forms. This technique helps to create engaging prose rather than dull text.
Wordy: The function of this machine is the collection of wastes.
Concise: This machine collects wastes.
Value the Time of your Readers – Write Concisely!
Every writer, especially, if it is a blog writer, must value his/her readers and hence their time. The popular expression “why to spend more if you can spend less” is also applied to writing. An average reader will not bother to read a passage to the end if he/she has to strain to grasp the main idea. Therefore, it’s significant not just to know about what to write but also to learn how to do it in the most effective way, which is a concise one.