June 24 2012

Concision tips

by Barbie in Writing

Writing concisely goes a long way in making your document easy for readers to understand. Some writers think verbose sentences are the mark of an adept writer, but such sentences only hinder the clarity of your document. Here are a few examples of wordy phrases and their more concise counterparts:

  • “There are” constructions can usually be condensed to more concise phrases.
    Verbose: There are six people that will attend the conference.
    Concise: Six people will attend the conference
  • “It is” is another subject/verb phrases that is often ambiguous and can be eliminated.
    Verbose: It is the researcher’s belief that the study will have a significant impact.
    Concise: The researcher believes the study will have a significant impact.
  • Introductory phrases can often be combined with the subject/verb phrases for improved clarity.
    Verbose: According to the organization, it has surveyed 300 individuals.
    Concise: The organization has surveyed 300 individuals.

Remember, concise is best. Shorter, more direct sentences are preferred to long, wordy ones. If your sentence includes multiple thoughts, break it up into multiple sentences for improved clarity.