In a good essay, everything must be in moderation: the right style, the appropriate tone, the proper presentation of information, and, most importantly, words, which also need a measure. We have contacted essayshark.com essay writing service and are ready to share why wordiness is bad for your texts and how to avoid it when writing.
Examples of wordiness in essays
There are such concepts as pleonasm and tautology. They are the main drivers of wordiness in essays.
● Pleonasm is when some element of meaning is duplicated. Basically, it is the presence of several linguistic forms expressing the same meaning.
● Tautology is the repetition of the same or similar words.
Wordiness in essays occurs when an excessive number of words — superfluous, repetitive, and similar — are used to express a thought. More often, it occurs in such cases:
When the text is written in a formal and scientific style
This problem is typical for these styles. Still, the reader would be happy to read a text in which the idea is set out clearly, briefly, and concisely because the information is already difficult to absorb. There is often a desire to compress all of this material to a state of three sentences when reading a long scientific article.
The author simply does not know how else to express their thoughts and uses those turns of speech that are established. A few examples of pleonasm from the colloquial speech:
● very huge;
● fast running;
● unexpected surprise;
● morning dawn.
Stop-words do not carry useful information and specifics. They rather act as an amplifier for other, more important words:
● "A company erected an absolutely high skyscraper literally in front of our house."
● "A company erected a skyscraper near our house."
Use of an unreasonable number of participles and adverbial participial phrases
● "The purse, belonging to Katy, is made of silk."
● "Katy's purse is made of silk."
Many word combinations can and should be abbreviated
● currently or in these days — now, in 2021;
● make repairs — repair;
● provide design services — design;
● must complete authorization — authorize.
What to make your essay less wordy
Make an outline
An essay plan will allow you to write only about what is necessary.
If you make a detailed outline covering all the aspects of your ideas, you will not desire to add anything extra. Your plan will become a roadmap for your writing. Firstly you need to choose the topic or thesis statement.Then you need to pick up the main points of your paper. The next thing to do would be organizing your points in a logical manner in writing and checking the paragraph structure.
Here is a rough idea of an outline you can have:
1. Main idea
1. Secondary idea to main idea I
2. Secondary idea to main idea I
1. Secondary idea to B
2. Secondary idea to B
1. Secondary idea to 2
2. Secondary idea to 2
2. Main idea
1. Secondary idea to main idea II
2. Secondary idea to main idea II
3.Secondary idea to main idea II
3. Main idea
This is an example of how to write an outline. Many students organize it differently, so it is essential to write what works best for you.
Reduce when it's appropriate
Everything must be in moderation, including reducing words. You have to minimize the total amount of material if the style and content allow it. This will allow you to get rid of wordiness in an essay without losing the main point.
Write about the main point, using fewer words. The number of adverbs (words like probably, perhaps, maybe, etc.), as well as various bulky speech patterns, conjunctions, and pronouns, will reduce wordiness in your essay by 15-20%. Don't use clichéd phrases like it's no secret that, at the present times. They tire readers out and reduce their interest in the text.
Pay for words
The idea is simple. Imagine that you have to pay for every word or character you use. That is, you have to pay for the wordiness of your essay. This approach allows you to look at the process of creating texts from a new angle. Instead of a pile of unnecessary words, you will get a clear, bright, and concise essay, which immediately makes the point to the reader.
The idea is that you use blocks of limited length to convey each thought. For example, set a limit for 100 or 120 characters. This is when you choose your words carefully, especially if you have something to say.
Use fewer adjectives and adverbs
It's better to choose one word that reflects both content and definition (heavy snow — snowfall, light wind — breeze). If you can't come up with appropriate words, you can always use a dictionary of synonyms.
Cut long sentences
Find long sentences in your text and try to shorten them while keeping the meaning. You can check if a sentence is long while reading it aloud. If you are short of breath and can't finish it, you have to shorten it. Most long sentences contain many words that don't add to the meaning. Removing them will make your piece more clean and easy to read. Don’t forget to break down long sentences into the smaller ones. But always check if it’s convenient to do so.
Read the text aloud
As you read word by word, you will immediately see what you can remove from the text. You perceive information differently by ear than by sight.
Use the active voice of the verb instead of the passive voice
Active voice increases readability. It can also make your essay less wordy.
● "An essay, written by my sister, was checked by a renowned professor."
● "A renowned professor checked my sister's essay."
It is necessary and important to reread the finished essay. It is desirable to proofread in a few hours after completion to review it with fresh eyes. This approach will reduce the amount of wordiness and eliminate most errors. You can use online tools to check it.