Blue Flower Editing
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Resources

Six ways to reduce your word count

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Whether it’s a manuscript, web content, or article, there are a variety of ways to reduce the word count of your content. In this post, I’ll share six tricks at the word level. Keep in mind there are more tricks at the sentence level and paragraph level, which I’ll share in future posts.

Remove "that" from the sentence
Before:
The report that you requested is ready.
After: The report you requested is ready. 

Pluralize some words
Before:
A SHU houses only one inmate at a time.  
After: SHUs house only one inmate at a time.

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. 

Avoid nominalization by replacing nouns with verbs
Before:
The implementation of the new program will boost Libya’s GDP.
After: Implementing the new program will boost Libya’s GDP.

Remove unnecessary words (simplify)
Before:
Due to the fact that rent has increased by 5%, we’ll need to make some budget cuts.
After: Since rent has increased by 5%, we’ll need to make some budget cuts.

Before: A number of you may be wondering why you’re here. 
After: Many of you may wonder why you’re here.

Before: It is requested that you RSVP by February 12th.
After: Please RSVP by February 12th. 

Before: We needed to find evidence in order to write up the report. 
After: We needed to find evidence to write up the report. 

Remove prepositions
Before: A number of serial killers have been executed.
After: Several serial killers have been executed.

Before: He handed the book to me.
After: He handed me the book.


Need help reducing your word count? I offer a range of editing services to choose from and can work with you to determine what type of editing you need.

 
Antonn Park