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’.

  • Of

This word can almost always be deleted when used after the word ‘all’.

  • That

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.

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