3 quick tips for more compact writing

Extraneous words are like bit of gravel in pudding. Here’s how to pick them out and get to the good stuff.

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Writers can employ various categorical strategies to make their writing more active and concise.

Here are three simple types of unnecessary wording to keep in mind (and out of one’s writing).

1. Extinguish expletives. An expletive is an indirect phrase that only delays a reader’s acquaintance with the writer’s point. Expletives include “There is,” “there are,” “there was,” and “there were,” as well as any of these phrases with it substituting for there. It is not necessary to always delete expletives, as the current sentence demonstrates, but they should be employed judiciously.

In most cases, simply sweep the expletive away and begin with a subject, as in revision of “There are other steps a company can take before an economic downturn to protect against its impact” to “A company can take other steps before an economic downturn to protect against its impact.”

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