“Dump these words—unless you need them!”
What? Just wholesale toss these words in the trash can?
“Yes! Unless the word adds value,” Marcia Riefer Johnston advises us. To write concisely, dump unnecessary words.
What does Writing Concisely mean?
- Provide enough information to meet the audience’s needs; answer the question, “WIIFM?”
- Provide enough information to accomplish the author’s purpose/goal; entice the audience to read your content!
Why write concisely?
- Improve usability and readability
- Less text to translate; results in lower translation cost
- More engaging content
- Fit content to small screens
How do we write more concisely?
- Dump unneeded words, words that don’t have value
- Remove be-verbs
- Caveat: Sometimes they serve a purpose; sometimes you do need the passive voice
- As you edit, ask these questions:
- Will my audience find the information useful?
- Does the information meet my purpose?
- Could I state the point in a more direct way?
Want to learn more about writing concisely?
- Check out Marcia’s Tighten This! Challenge sentences
- Use online tools to check your writing