Many writers suffer from prolixity a.k.a wordiness. Wordiness can reduce the quality of your article and make it difficult for your readers to grasp the meaning of some sentences. It is also boring to read overused words. Handy believes that with some practice, writers can fix this problem easily.
Here are some ways to remove overused words from your writing –
- Use a grammar checker tool – There are many free grammar checker tools like Grammarly which can provide you with a detailed report of your writing style, list the word count of your article, highlight critical grammar mistakes, and suggest which sentences are too long. All you have to do is paste the article inside the tool that you want to check.
Once you paste the article inside the Grammarly browser extension tool, clicking on any word of the article will show you a list of words that can replace the selected word. This is a very useful tool for writers who have yet to develop a strong vocabulary. Over time, you will memorize these words and start using them in your articles on your own.
- Avoid filler words – Filler words like ‘commonly’, ‘basically’, ‘hopefully’, ‘seriously’, etc. are overused by many writers as they think these words sound better. However, eliminating filler words are a great way to reduce the word count of your article and also make sentences more concise.
- Limit the use of qualifiers – Qualifiers are adjectives which are primarily used to attribute a quality to a noun. Qualifiers are in itself not a problem but become problematic if they are overused by writers. It is much more impactful to replace the qualified word with a more suitable word. For example, instead of writing ‘very cold’, write ‘freezing’ or ‘very eager’, write ‘keen’.
- Reduce redundancies – Descriptive writers often tend to overuse synonyms to describe a situation and as a result, create redundant wording. For example, hilarious, comical and funny mean the same thing. If you use all three words to describe a person, the reader will learn nothing new.
You must also avoid using redundant sentences. If a sentence that you wrote conveys the same message as the previous sentence, it is known as a redundant sentence. Eliminate these to stop irritating your readers.
- Avoid logorrhea – Avoid using long sentences or abstract wording when you write an article. The main goal of writing is to convey a meaning to your readers as clearly as possible. There is no need to overuse qualifiers and adjectives to make your paragraphs sound more intelligent. All it will do is deter the reader from reading your work, make the sentence less intelligible and increase the word count of the article.
Handy believes that it is impossible to change your writing style overnight. However, if you take the aid of writing tools like grammar checker and fix your writing mistakes, you will be able to become a better writer. Also, make it a habit to re-read your articles once you finish writing it to spot mistakes on your own