You’ve read many times the advice to keep your writing clear and concise. But how do you do that? Here are three things you can do on your next piece of writing.
1️⃣ First it means being a brutal editor of your work.
Re-read your work before you “publish” it. For each sentence ask yourself, can I delete this whole sentence. If you can’t delete it, could say the same thing in fewer words? “Please send me the data by Friday” is 11 words shorter than “I would be grateful if you could send the data to me by close of business on Friday.”
2️⃣ Are there adverbs to remove?
Adverbs are words that modify or describe a verb. Most of them (not all) end in -ly. Often you can both shorten a sentence and make it clearer by replacing the verb and adverb combination with a more accurate (and often more expressive) verb. For example, instead of “manage effectively” you could have command or supervise or regulate or execute or succeed, depending what your intended message is.
3️⃣ Have you said the same thing with different words? If so you can delete at least one word. Here are some examples:
- global pandemic
- new innovation
- close proximity
- in my opinion, I think that
- necessary requirement
- added bonus.
After taking out unnecessary sentences, adverbs and repetitions you will have a much more concise document. Give it a try.