Do you have a problem with wordiness in academic writing? Do you want your writing to be more concise and easier to read?
Make this one change: Use More Verbs. Here’s how you do it.
- Look at one section of your writing at a time.
- Highlight the main verb in each sentence. Usually you’ll see words like: shows, is, does, makes, are, etc. These verbs are vague: they tell me NOTHING about what is happening.
- Look at one sentence now. If the verb does not give a clear action, ask yourself what action you are trying to show. Here’s a simple example: Variable A shows an increase over time. The verb is shows. The action is increases.
- Change the boring, empty verb to a precise verb that shows the action. In the example above, you need to change the noun (an increase) to a verb (increases). Now you’ve got Variable A increases over time.
- Repeat! Add precise verbs everywhere. You cannot overdo it.
In summary: change the nouns in your sentences to verbs. You’ll reduce wordiness and add clarity.