When you have something complicated to say, take the space you need to say it. But unnecessarily wordy or repetitive writing is more likely to confuse your point rather than elucidate it. Here are three ways to edit yourself, so you can get your message across more clearly.
- Delete words that don’t add anything. Consider these: generally, basically, actually, kind of, really, virtually, totally, essentially, completely, literally, and just. If one of these words is essential to the meaning of your sentence, keep it. If not, let it go.
- Cut the overlap. When you’re thinking through your idea as you’re writing, there’s a good chance that you’ll repeat yourself. To find redundant sentences, read your writing out loud, and listen for any repetition that you can remove.
- Don’t tell the reader what you’re going to do. Just do it. Take this sentence: “I want to point out a few problems with our onboarding.” You won’t lose anything by cutting those first few words and being more direct: “Our current staffing problems are X, Y, and Z.”