As writers, we know that every word has to earn its place on the page. If it’s not doing a job, it can be cut, and the resulting sentence is usually better for it. Often we write ‘long’, especially in the first draft, as we feel our way into what we want to say. That’s why editing is so important; it gives us the opportunity to make our writing clearer and simpler, using fewer words. Unnecessary ‘filler’ phrases muddy up sentences, such as: ‘in spite of the fact that’, ‘for all intents and purposes’, and the one that I frequently see in student essays — ‘in order to’, when ‘to’ will do just fine. Check for common filler words and phrases when you edit. Cutting them out will reduce your word count and strengthen your writing.
7 March 2018