Ten ways to reduce your word count
Currently, an article, a manuscript, or web content.. often requires a limit on the number of words, pages, or characters... Therefore, we need to have certain tricks to master. There are different ways to reduce the word count in your content. Here are 10 tips to share with you:
1. Remove "that" from the sentence
The word “that” is often overused in writing and can be deleted with ease.
Before: The report that you requested is ready.
After: The report you requested is ready.
2. Delete "The"
You can often omit the word “the” from your text without losing any meaning.
Before: The clarity of your writing depends on both the content and the style.
After: The clarity of your writing depends on both content and style.
3. Remove Adverbs and Adjectives
Omit unnecessary adverbs and adjectives to make your writing stronger and more concise.
Before: The entire treatment lasted for four days, and the drug greatly improved the health of the patients.
After: The treatment lasted for four days, and the drug improved the health of the patients.
4. Remove prepositions
Before: He handed the book to me.
After: He handed me the book.
5. Get rid of unnecessary helping verbs (be, have, do, can, may, will, shall, must)
Before: Before you start writing, you have to create an outline.
After: Before you start writing, create an outline.
6. Remove unnecessary words (simplify)
Before: A number of you may be wondering why you’re here.
After: Many of you may wonder why you’re here.
7. Eliminate Conjunctions
Conjunctions (e.g., and, or, but, however) connect two independent statements that can often be rewritten as two separate sentences.
Before: Patients treated with drug X had no symptoms after 3 days, and patients treated with drug Y had no symptoms after 7 days.
After: Patients treated with drug X had no symptoms after 3 days. Patients treated with drug Y had no symptoms after 7 days.
8. Trim Wordy Phrases
Clear out the clutter in your writing. Look for needless words you can delete and lengthy phrases you can shorten.
Before: During the course of the study, the majority of cells died in response to treatment with the drug.
After: During the study, most cells died after treatment with the drug.
9. Target Paragraphs with Widows and Orphans
“Dangling words,” also known as widows or orphans.
A widow is a lone word or short group of words that appear at the bottom of a paragraph, column, or page. An orphan is a similar unwanted word or short group of words that appear at the top of a page.
Look for paragraphs with just a few words at the end and focus on how you can shorten them to gain an extra line of space.
Before: The mutated protein greatly decreased cell function.
After: The mutated protein decreased cell function.
10. Choose Active Voice
Active voice uses fewer words than passive voice. An active voice makes your writing clearer and more compelling, helping you tell a powerful story.
Before: The samples were collected by the researcher.
After: The researcher collected the samples.