How to write concisely
No matter the subject of your copy, it is crucial to be short and sweet when you write to help the reader understand your message quickly and easily. And the video below shows you how simple it can be to write succinctly. So, with that in mind, read on for some simple tips on how to write concisely.
1) Limit your characters
It’s common to write for the sake of writing or to meet a word count, rather than to add any actual substance. One way of trying to avoid this is by giving yourself a character limit for expressing a certain message. This will force you to get to the point by including all of the most important information within the limit. And you may even find this involves completely rewording your sentence or its various elements.
2) Write in the active voice
Writing in the active voice rather than the passive voice uses fewer words. For example,
“He won the car.” (24 characters)
…is shorter than…
“The car was won by him.” (31 characters)
In English, the active voice is more common and therefore tends to be the preferred style of writing. This is because it not only makes the meaning and the subject of the verb clearer, but it is also easier to understand.
3) Avoid negatives
Negative clauses and sentences tend to contain more words. You can easily save on words by switching a sentence from negative to positive.
“People who do not eat their 5 a day miss out on the benefits of essential vitamins and minerals.”
“People who eat their 5 a day benefit from essential vitamins and minerals.”
4) Remove unnecessary words
Get rid of any words that don’t really mean anything or add anything, such as those in bold below. For example,
“Basically, people who eat their 5 a day actually benefit from important as well as essential vitamins and minerals.”
The same goes for words you don’t need because another aspect of the sentence already covers their meaning. For example,
“We are currently experiencing a high number of calls.”
Here, ‘We are experiencing’ is enough to show that the action is happening now, so we don’t need to say ‘currently’ too.
Follow these tips to write less and say more!