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How to Make Your Essay Concise

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It is no use to write a lot of words in your essay if they do not convey any meaning. Professional research paper writers know for sure that the wordage of the document goes after its quality if we come to establish priorities in academic writing. That is why in this post we will teach you how to express yourself in a concise manner. These tips will be helpful to all students and also for any people who face the necessity to write in their everyday life. Even writing a thesis abstract will be much easier if you follow this advice. With our company you will be able to produce quality texts that are just to the point.

Place the subject at the beginning of the sentence

When writing an essay or any other academic work, pay attention to the word order. Even if you are familiar with the grammar rules of using inversions, stick to the classic variant. Now we will tell you why it is so important.

When the subject is right in the beginning, the sentence appears clearer to its reader. There is no need to keep in mind all the additional information that distracts from the main point because normally it is the subject that would start the main idea of any sentence. Look at these examples to get the idea of what we are talking about:

  • The Emperor made the fatal decision to start a war two years before his death, as we have previously established.

  • As we have previously established, two years before his death the Emperor made the fatal decision to start a war.

If we compare these two sentences, the first one seems less beautiful in its structure, but the reader gets to the point straight away. He knows who is the main doer in this sentence and can decide whether this information is relevant for him or not. But when we read the second sentence, we get lost in the unnecessary introduction and have to scan the text to find the beginning of the main idea. It is rather tiresome, especially if a lot of sentences are written this way.

Placing the subject at the beginning of the sentence may have one more advantage in terms of concise writing. When you have already said everything you wanted, you may not continue your sentence, thus reducing the number of words in your text. Please note that the meaning is preserved:

  • The Emperor made the fatal decision to start a war two years before his death.

Give preference to the Active Voice

In more than half English sentences you can change the Active Voice into a passive form without losing meaning. The Passive Voice will be grammatically correct in these cases (which is a good thing, taking into consideration the consequences of grammar ignorance that we wrote about previously), but the perception of your phrase will suffer, and so will the style of your writing. The thing is that modern guidelines for academic writing do not recommend using the Passive Voice in sentences where you can easily place an active verb. Moreover, it will not do any good to the laconism of your writing. See for yourself: instead of using only one active verb, you will have to put two when choosing the Passive Voice (the verb to be plus the main verb), let alone the fact that you will not mention the doer of the action, unless you do it at the end of the sentence after the preposition by.

  • My mother takes the dog for a walk every evening.

  • The dog is taken for a walk every evening by my mother.

Even the perception of these two sentences differs, and the preference goes to the first one, which sounds more natural. The second sentence is rather bulky and excessively abstruse. You would expect to come across this kind of wording in some protocols or official documents, but not in essays and papers.

Reduce the number of adverbs and adjectives

Nouns and verbs normally convey the most important ideas in your sentences, whereas adverbs and adjectives provide only additional information that is not always relevant. In most cases, if you delete them from your text completely, the ideas you express there will not suffer from such combing-out. To prove this statement, we have prepared for you two examples:

  • The academician had a very vivid dream about the theory, which proved completely useless when it came to using it in practice.

  • The academician had a dream about the theory, which proved useless when it came to using it in practice.

The adjectives and adverbs deleted from the first sentence would come in handy in a work of fiction, but not in academic writing. Here you should be as precise as possible, but not overtire your reader with wordy descriptions. However, you had better preserve some specific adjectives in your writing. These are the ones describing:

  • color,

  • size,

  • number.

This information is always relevant in a text, so you should not exclude it just for the sake of brevity.

Avoid clichés

If you wonder what is wrong with clichés, you should pay attention to what we have to say in this paragraph. Clichés are one of your worst enemies in writing because they pollute your speech with a trite lexicon. Moreover, these words are often redundant, which means that they do not contribute to expressing your ideas. We claim that each sentence will only benefit if you delete clichés from it. Here are some phrases that we recommend you to avoid:

  • in the nick of time;

  • easy come, easy go;

  • in this day and age;

  • in modern society etc.

By using these hackneyed phrases (which can find their places on the list of phrases with no sense), you show that you have no imagination to produce original sentences. The point is that in academic writing you have to aim at just the opposite.

Develop only one idea at a time

Trying to keep hold of several thoughts at once, you make a lot of writing mistakes:

  • first, you risk losing your thread of arguments due to the necessity to keep too many details in your head at once;

  • secondly, you confuse your reader because comprehending two or more ideas at a time is no less difficult than writing that kind of texts;

  • thirdly, you make your essay superfluous since by developing the ideas separately you would spend less words on it.

The conclusion is simple: do not try to kill two birds with one stone by merging different ideas in one sentence or even paragraph. Paradoxical as it may seem, working on them separately will make your writing more concise.

Reduce phrases to single words

In those cases when you can describe the same idea with only one word instead of a whole phrase, do it. This tip coincides a bit with the one on using clichés, but with reserve. The latter for the most part are unnecessary in general, whereas wordy phrases do convey meaning, but not in the efficient way. Here is a quick guide how to get rid of wordy phrases in your academic writing (the list is by no means comprehensive, of course; you are welcome to substitute other phrases with their single word equivalents if you find it necessary):

  • in order to → to;

  • in the event that → in case, if;

  • for all intents and purposes → practically;

  • at the present time → now;

  • for the time being → for the present.

Now you know what words are superfluous in your essays and how you can avoid them. We are sure that using our tips, you will be able to write better essays for your college. And we remind you that we offer our professional help if you find it difficult to manage academic assignments on your own. We have a team of specialists who can write a work instead of you or enhance the one you have written by yourself. If you send your paper for editing, we will surely deal with its grammar mistakes, formatting and also brevity. Thus, all these practices that we described in this post really work in practice, and we will show you it when you place your order with our company. Read about our services to learn more what you can get by turning to our company.