“Less is more” in writing English. When you construct sentences to create a paragraph, each sentence should be trimmed down to only what is necessary to clearly communicate your point.
Do you find yourself struggling to create a simple, clear way of writing your ideas in English? On the TOEFL exam writing section, especially on the independent task, eliminating wordiness can raise your score.
Here are four efficient tips to make your sentences concise.
- Do not repeat the same idea twice.
- Many uneducated adults who never went to primary school vote for improving the school system.
Examples of wordy phrases and how to trim them down.
|A lot of||many|
|In recent times||now|
|There is no doubt that||No doubt|
|Personally, I think||I think|
|Each and every||each|
|A total of 10 pets||10 pets|
|In a period of five days||Five days|
|One and the same||The same|
|Of particular interest||Interest|
|In the event that||If|
|At 12 noon||At noon|
|A person who is smart||A smart person|
|At 1AM in the morning||At 1AM|
|In the field of business||In business|
|He is a person who…||He|
|In spite of the fact that…||Even though|
|In the event that…||if|
- Delete phrases that do not add value to your writing
|Delete unnecessary phrases|
|In other words,|
|In the case of|
|By means of|
|In the event that|
|Have a tendency to|
|For the most part|
|As far as I’m concerned,|
|By virtue of the fact that|
|It seems that|
|Due to the fact that|
|For all intents and purposes|
|At the present time,|
|All things considered,|
|In light of the fact that|
|As a matter of fact,|
|…because of the fact that…|
|For the purpose of|
|In a manner of speaking|
- Avoid weak adverbs, choosing instead strong active verbs. The best effect is to use adverbs sparingly or only when necessary.
- Really, very, mostly, severely
- Avoid there is/are or it is
- There are 25 colleagues in the office. à 25 colleagues are in the office.
- There is a mess. à A mess exists.
In short, concise writing does not equal short sentences. You can still go into detail in body paragraph development. Aim for clear ideas by deleting unneeded words and phrases.
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