How to Make Your Essay Writing Concise

How to Make Your Essay Writing Concise

Making Your Writing More Concise

To be concise means to get directly to the point. Concise writing is often clearer and more succinct. We can achieve conciseness in our writing in several ways.

The following examples are taken in part from Lynn Quitman Troyka’s The Simon and Schuster Handbook for Writers, 6thed. Writing Concise

Cut unnecessary words and phrases

Wordy                                                        More Concise
at the present time                                                    now
at this point in time                                                  currently
in this day and age                                                   today
in todays society
at all times                                                                   always
free up some space                                                      make room
dependent upon                                                          depends upon
in the event that                                                          if
somewhere in the neighborhood of                            about
for the purpose of                                                       for
Cut Redundancies

Redundant Phrases                          More Concise Phrases

the exact same                                                 the same, exactly the same
blue in color                                                    blue
free gratis                                                        free, gratis
my personal favorite                                       my favorite
rectangular in shape                                        rectangular
my personal opinion                                        my opinion
true fact                                                           fact

Notice how you can make each of the following sentences more concise by eliminating unnecessary and/or redundant words and phrases.

Wordy: As a matter of fact, it seems as though a great many folk beliefs that are popular are, in a very real sense, totally wrong.
Concise: A great many popular folk beliefs are totally wrong.

Wordy: For example, the American Academy of Ophthalmology makes the statement that reading in the dark will not have the effect of ruining a person’s eyes.
Concise: For example, the American Academy of Ophthalmology states that reading in the dark will not ruin a person’s eyes.

Avoid Expletive Constructions

An expletive construction starts with it or there followed by a form of the verb be.

Wordy: It is necessary for students to fill in both questionnaires. Concise: Students must fill in both questionnaires.

Wordy: There are three majors offered by the computer science department. Concise: Three majors are offered by the computer science department.

or . . . The computer science department offers three majors.

Avoid the Passive Voice

A writer uses active voice when the subject is doing the action; he/she uses passive voice when the subject is receiving the action, rather than doing the action. Active voice is more concise than passive voice.

Passive: Public speaking is taught by Professor Higgins. Active: Professor Higgins teaches public speaking.

Passive: Volunteer work was done by students for credit in sociology. Active: The students did volunteer work for credit in sociology.

or . . . Volunteer work earned students credit in sociology.

Avoid Repetition

Repetitive: Bringing the project to final completion three weeks early, the supervisor of the project earned our respectful regard.
Concise: Completing the project three weeks early, the supervisor earned our respect.

Shorten Phrases and Cut Words

Wordy: Each and every person was hungry after the movie. Concise: Every person was hungry after the movie.

or . . . Each person was hungry after the movie.

How to write a good essay: Paraphrasing the question

Read More on;