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Concise writing

Concise writing is writing that is clear and does not include unnecessary or vague/unclear words or language.

Conciseness and clarity are very important in your writing.  It can be tempting to make your writing sound more professional or academic by adding extra words or phrases. Often this will unnecessarily complicate your writing and make your points more difficult for the reader to understand.

The good news is that you can learn to make your writing concise.

This short video shows a couple of ways to eliminate redundancy and wordiness.



Consider four different types of unnecessary words below. Look at the examples of unnecessary words and how to improve your language.


  • What does it mean? Unnecessary words
  • Example: Conduct a review of…
  • Improve with: Review

If you use more than one word, phrase, sentence, or paragraph to convey the same information without further clarifying the main point, eliminate all but the best one.


  • What does it mean? Words repeated – sometimes in a different way
  • Example: Leaders may have particular traits and characteristics…
  • Improve with: Leaders may have particular traits …

Read or listen to it out loud. Reading your work out loud gives you a new perspective, take the time to hear the words then edit out anything that you are hearing too often.
Repetition isn’t only about words, also consider using sentence variation.


  • Equivalent (equal) words
  • Example: The end result…
  • Improve with: The result…

A tautology is an expression or phrase that says the same thing twice, just in a different way. It is undesirable as you are saying the same thing twice and it tells us nothing new.

Extra words

  • A phrase is too long
  • Example: Despite all this…
  • Improve with: However…

Eliminate any filler words that add no meaning or value to a sentence and simply ‘fill’ the space.