Reducing wordiness in your writing
When you’re writing, it can be tempting to write the same way you’d speak, in an informal manner. However, for most forms of writing, it’s best to avoid using repetitious or unnecessary phrases. We’ve listed some commonly used phrases below that you can delete from your documents to improve the flow and cut down on wordiness.
- (And) also
Since “and” and “also” mean the same thing, you should only use one of these terms.
- In fact; actually; needless to say
These introductory phrases do not add meaning to a sentence, so they can be deleted.
- Due to the fact that
Instead of using this phrase, simply say ‘because’.
- As to whether
This phrase can be shortened to ‘whether’.
- In order to
Rather than using this unnecessarily long phrase, say ‘to’.
- Has the ability to
This is another phrase that isn’t necessary. Simply use ‘can’.
This word can almost always be deleted when used after the word ‘all’.
Likewise, this word can usually be deleted without changing the meaning of a sentence. If you’re not sure whether it can be deleted, try reading the sentence out loud without the word and see if it makes sense.
- During the course of
For this phrase, you can simply say ‘during’.
- Period of time; point in time
For these phrases, just use ‘period’ or ‘point’ to streamline your writing.