As an ambitious student, do you inadvertently produce long, drawn-out essays that double the word count and ramble forever? Don’t worry, you are not alone! When drafting an essay, it is easy to overwrite the topic, especially when you feel passionate about the topic. Still, trimming down your essay to fit the word count is almost as difficult as authoring your paper because all the information seems crucial to your essay topic.
Thankfully, there are simple ways to reduce your word count and still get your point across to the reader. Here are some awesome tips to reduce the word count on your next essay.
Keeping your points organized is essential to writing a concise and clear paper. Remember to always create a clear essay outline or brainstorm that organizes the points you want to discuss in each paragraph. As you do so, take each point in your paper and rank its importance to the thesis statement. Therefore, outlining each point can better prevent any excessive rambling that does not support or reinforce your argument.
Writing is not a time for multi-tasking. While combining points may seem like a great idea to save space and mention two points at once, this approach can leave the reader feeling confused. For instance, your essay will not flow properly, which may inhibit the reader from fully grasping your argument. Take one point at a time to explain in each sentence to prevent any confusion to the reader. Combining points will leave you with run-on sentences and lengthy paragraph blocks. Instead, dedicate ample time to flush out each point.
Writing in an active voice will further reduce your essay’s word count. Allowing for a more direct form of speech, this tactic utilizes fewer words than the passive voice. This style also makes the paper seem more engaging to the reader. For example, instead of writing, “I was driving to the store,” try writing “I drove to the store.” Did you notice how straightforward the second sentence reads when describing the narrator’s action without any fluff words? To trim down the word count in your own papers, revise each sentence to make sure you use the proper tense.
Just as writing in active voice removes excess filler words, remember to glance over your paper for “fluff” words. This method is the easiest and most effective way to bring down your word count. Common fluff words include “really,” “the,” “that,” “just,” “quite,” “very,” and “in order to.” Although you may think these words somehow add to your paper, these filler words only distract the reader from the points you make.
When you cannot think of any additional edits to implement, then hurry over to your school’s writing center or find an online writing resource to help revise sentences in your paper. Eliminate filler words from your essay to improve your writing, reduce the word count, and submit a clear writing assignment.
It may seem tempting but do not overuse adverbs and adjectives in your essay. While descriptive words can amplify your paper, overusing them can saturate your writing. Adverbs change verbs and adjectives alter nouns; both weaken your prose. For example, try writing “we sprinted down the field” rather than writing “we quickly ran down the field.” Locating and changing the adverbs and adjectives in your paper can help improve your academic writing, making it seem more cohesive.
Cutting out words to abide by the word count does not need to be a stressful process. So long as you organize your points by their importance, prevent yourself from combing points, write in an active voice, and remove any adverbs and adjectives, your essay will stay within the word count requirements.
Don’t procrastinate any longer on trimming your academic essay. Follow these tips to reduce your word count and submit a clear and compressed paper. TestPrepScore is here to help students improve in all aspects of learning. If you are looking for a writing tutor, find an in-person tutor near you or schedule an online appointment!