Category: General English & Academic English
Wordiness means utilizing too many words to carry a single thought whether consciously or unconsciously and it is a very common mistake for second language learners. Wordiness increases the length of writing without adding any meaning to the text. Worse than that, it makes the writing complex and difficult to understand.
Original text: 26 words
For all of the reasons and purposes, Mr. Johnson arrived late for the party was due to the fact that was shopping from that big store.
Reworded text: 11 words
Mr. Johnson arrived late for the party because he was shopping.
Note: Try to eliminate some words from the sentence and if it is still meaningful, the sentence is wordy, but do not remove a word which is mandatory for the grammar of the sentence and especially when it is a keyword, a fact, a feeling or description.
Ways to Avoid wordiness
Do not use unclear words that require more explanation
Wordy: She talked to him in a wrong and degrading manner.
Concise: She insulted him.
Use single words instead of long expressions
Wordy: to put forward the idea that
Concise: To suggest
Wordy: To as a question
Concise: To ask
Do not explain the listing
Wordy: I went to the supermarket and bought two loaves of bread. I also bought some vegetables and finally, I got a kilo of fresh fruit.
Concise: I bought two loaves of bread, some vegetables and a kilo of fruit from the supermarket.
Do not overuse passive voice
Mostly, the passive voice of the verb requires more words than the active voice.
Wordy: The thief was caught by the police on the street and later he was sentenced to jail.
Concise: The police caught the thief and sent him to jail.
Do not overuse “it” and “there”
Wordy: It was really exciting to attend in Sara’s wedding party.
Concise: Sara’s wedding party was really exciting.
Wordy: There were forty-three patients in the lobby who were waiting for the doctor to come.
Concise: Forty-three patients in the lobby were waiting for the doctor.
Do not use negative constructions
Wordy: His bad behavior was not unworthy of punishment.
Concise: His bad behavior or worthy of punishment.
Avoid using long phrases
Due to the matter of fact in fact
It is usually the case that usually
Regardless of the fact that even though
During the course of during