How to make your writing concise

  • Date: August 23, 2021
How to make your writing concise

Good essay writing is all about expressing your ideas in as few words as possible. You can make your sentences brief but comprehensive by employing some simple techniques.

Limit the use of passive voice

Passive voice does not make your sentences grammatically incorrect. In fact, this construction is preferred in academic and scientific writing. However, while writing your admissions essay, you must make a conscious effort to limit the use of passive voice.

Overuse of passive voice can make your sentences wordy, confusing and unengaging.

Identifying passive voice is not exactly difficult. If you learned grammar at school, you will have no difficulty identifying passive verb forms. A sentence becomes passive when the object comes in the position of the subject.

As a result, the person performing the action is only mentioned at the end of the sentence. In some passive sentences, the doer of the action is not mentioned at all.

This style of writing is not suitable when you want to discuss your beliefs, goals or accomplishments.

Passive forms also make the sentence longer.

Avoid expletive constructions

Expletive constructions often begin with the filler subjects ‘it’ or ‘there’. These constructions, too, are wordy and often employ very weak verbs. Although these words occupy the position of the sentence’s subject, they hardly serve any purpose. What’s more, they are almost always followed by the bland verb ‘to be’. Phrases such as ‘it seems’ are equally uninspiring. When you rewrite these sentences with their proper subject, your sentences will become more concise and powerful.

Note that all sentences beginning with ‘it’ cannot be considered as expletive constructions. In fact, when ‘it’ serves as a pronoun referring to a noun in a previous sentence, it is considered perfectly acceptable. In fact, by employing the pronoun you can avoid the unnecessary repetition of a noun.

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