Keep it Short: The Art of Writing Succinctly

For many students, the art of writing succinctly is a truly challenging feat that requires many hours of pouring over their work, editing to condense it down to a simpler form, often to make more sense or match a word limit, and ensure the piece is perfect for submission.

Did the last sentence make sense to you? It made no sense to me and I wrote it! Too many sentences run in circles. They leave you where you began and slightly dizzy. This is not an ideal way to write anything.

So, without any further rambling, here are three tips to keeping things short:

  1. Know what you want to say – maybe before you start writing, but at least before you submit the thing. If you don’t know what you are talking about, chances are that no one else will.
  2. Make your point – Deal with one idea at a time.  Additional points are distractions. This applies to both sentences and paragraphs.
  3. Keep it short – This process involves eliminating useless words. We think every word we use is important. Don’t form emotional attachments to useless words and your writing will benefit.

Being succinct is about efficient communication. From that sentence seven words were eliminated. Just keep in mind that we can make a lot more sense with a few less words

By the PAL Academic Portfolio