Wordy Offenders

To write the most effective copy, cut wordiness. During revisions, look for words that . . .

 

  • are unnecessary
  • slow the reading pace
  • distract from the main idea

 

Below, we’ve listed some frequent wordy offenders and demonstrated how to eliminate them.

 

There are/is

Example: There is a black cat who sits on the windowsill.

Improved: A black cat sits on the windowsill.

 

Being verbs (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been)

Example: She was staring at the cat.

Improved: She stared at the cat.

 

Redundancies

Example: Joe knelt down on the grass.

Improved: Joe knelt on the grass.

 

It is

Example: It is clear that Rose is unprepared.

Improved: Rose is clearly unprepared.

 

Which/that

Example: The books, which were heavy, were packed in small boxes.

Improved: The heavy books were packed in small boxes.

 

Very

Examples: A sharp wit is very necessary in this profession.

Improved: A sharp wit is necessary in this profession.
 

Had a/n

Example: The research had an influence on his decision.

Improved: The research influenced his decision.

 

On how to

Example: I read a book on how to code.

Improved: I read a book on coding.

 

Of the

Example: She wasted the time of the crowd.

Improved: She wasted the crowd’s time.

 

Eliminate wordiness, and your copy will improve significantly. We’re eager to read your concise writing.

 

The Editors

 

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