Writers: Eliminating Wordiness

I recently did a blog post on being wordy and word choices. I found this great article buried over at the Ball State University JD Writing Center. Although very simple, I think that ties into my orginal post and completes the thought. I was unable to determine the author of the work, but I thought it worth a re-post here. Whoever wrote thing did us a great service. Thank you!

-Ron

ELIMINATING WORDINESS
By Author Unknown

Do not repeat a word unless you need it again for clarity or emphasis.

WORDY: When I was a child, my favorite relatives were the relatives who treated me like a grown-up.
REVISED: When I was a child, my favorite relatives treated me like a grown-up.

Avoid redundancy. Don’t say the same thing twice using different words or phrases.

WORDY: The hero begins to behave strangely and in odd ways following his tryst with a witch he meets secretly at midnight.
REVISED: The hero begins to behave strangely following his midnight tryst with a witch.

In general, don’t start sentences with There is, There are, or There were.

WORDY: There are many ways in which we can classify houses.
REVISED: We can classify houses in many ways.

Avoid cluttering sentences with nouns.

WORDY: The reason for George’s refusal to be a member of the secret society was his dislike of its elitism.
REVISED: George refused to join the secret society because he disliked its elitism.

Remove adjective clauses like who are, which was, and that were.

WORDY: The antique dealer who is on Allen Street has a pair of silver candlesticks that were designed by Paul Revere.
REVISED: The antique dealer who is on Allen Street has a pair of silver candlesticks designed by Paul Revere.

Replace prepositional phrases with single adjectives or adverbs.

WORDY: She regarded me in a stern way.
REVISED: She regarded me sternly.

Remove “to be” whenever possible.

WORDY: Vince Lombardi was considered to be an excellent football coach.
REVISED: Vince Lombardi was considered an excellent football coach.

Advertisements

About Ron

Host and producer of Ron's Amazing Stories since 2011.
This entry was posted in Writing Tips. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s