Homework help: how to write clearly and simple

There are few things more frustrating than being your own worst enemy when trying to put a message across on paper. There are common language mistakes that will hinder you during your writing process if you don’t identify and drop them from your habitual work method.

Word count is the real issue

You may see a low word count as a blessing, but in actual fact it’s a bigger challenge to cramp an acceptable amount of valid facts in a small space than it would be if you had more words to use. Your mission when writing must be to use as few words as possible so that you can fit as many key ideas as possible. For this reason, the following tips are presented to help you in doing just that.

The ‘big word’ obsession


There are two ways your thesaurus could spoil your writing:

  • The first is when you change something written in your own words to a fancier word that hardly anyone uses or understands. When you do this, it makes you seem like a show-off, and can often lead to an embarrassing situation of using the wrong word in the given context.
  • The second is when you use two or more synonymous words in the same sentence where only one is sufficient. This is called redundancy and should be avoided so that you can save on your word count and fit more relevant information into your paper.

Just say it!

Speaking of big words, metadiscourse is one you should keep in your private vocabulary when you write. This term describes a form of writing that takes way too long to get to the point. A sentence starting with, “It is my opinion that...”, “Let me just say...” or “Note the following...” should be shortened without these unnecessary elements. Your paper should not be written like a speech, but should rather be jam packed with interesting, valid facts.

Cut the fat

When editing your paper, always make a point of shortening sentences to their bare minimum. Words must carry value to remain a part of your content and any words that don’t pull their weight and win you points, should be discarded without hesitation. Systematically go through your paper sentence-for-sentence and be vigilant at cutting away anything that’s deemed excess to your key writing purpose.

 
 

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