If you think that the purpose of professional writing is to useas many words as possible, think again! Rather, the goal is to document information concisely and “use the most effective words.” The article “ Conciseness ,” published by Purdue OWL , outlines many important steps for a writer to take to write clearly.
Many times writers use a long phrase where fewer words could be used. Because professional writing focuses on ensuring readability, writers can exchange broad terminology and phrases for more relatable words and phrases. “As a general rule,” the article says, “more specific words lead to more concise writing.”
As important as the types of words used is using the appropriate number of words: “If words are dead weight, they can be deleted or replaced.” Readers can easily lose the main purpose in a storm of unimportant words. The easiest way to do this is to “check every word to make sure that it is providing something important and unique to a sentence.” Deleting unnecessary words or phrases makes the document more readable.
In cases when information seems relevant but also loses conciseness due to wordiness, consider combining sentences. “Some information does not require a full sentence,” the article says, “and can easily be inserted into another sentence without losing any of its value.”
Maintain style and format
Once a specific style or format is used, continue a similar flow throughout the entire document. Similar to the way that you find rhythm in a song, a reader may understand information better if a pattern of words, phrases, or format is used. For instance, if the first few subtopics of a document include an example, maintain this style by including an example in all subtopics.
Read from the reader’s perspective
Before the writing process is complete, the writer must proofread. To ensure that the document will be understood, read it from the reader’s perspective, or as though you have no knowledge of the information. Doing this will force you to become more aware of words and phrases that should be altered to create a document that flows and is more concise .
Following these steps will help you enhance your professional writing skills. “When only the most effective words remain, writing will be far more concise and readable,” according to the article. These steps can help you in your writing process, but learning how to properly use these skills will further your writing abilities. To better understand concise writing and become an expert, contact us!