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Skidmore College
The Skidmore Guide to Writing


It's good discipline to edit out unnecessary words in your writing. You don't want to bury your ideas in words that don't contribute to meaning. To avoid wordiness

  • use concrete nouns and vivid verbs
  • avoid empty words, such as "aspect," "case," "factor," "field," "kind," "situation," "thing," "type"
  • substitute single words for wordy phrases (e.g., use "because," not "due to the fact that")
  • cut out unnecessary repetition (e.g., "return again," cooperate together")
  • avoid beginning too many sentences with "there is" or "it is " (or "there are," "there were," etc.)
  • combine sentences to avoid repeating words.

Click here to read about other terms you may find in professors' comments.