You can start by eliminating extraneous phrases that clutter your writing. But which phrases can be “whacked”?
Consider taking out these extra phrases whenever you can:
- “is intended to, meant to, designed to” e.g., He gives a workshop that is designed to teach writing skills. Better: He gives a workshop that teaches writing skills.
- “it is all about”; “the fact of the matter is”; “the fact that”; “it’s important to remember that” e.g., The fact of the matter is that it’s unwise to go out carousing. Better: It’s unwise to go out carousing.
- “in regard to” e.g., Seek additional websites in regard to your industry. Better: Seek additional websites in your industry.
- “is going to” e.g., He is going to be a key contributor. Better: He will be a key contributor.
- “in order to” e.g., Add key words in order to describe the new position. Better: Add key words to describe the new position.
- “there is” and “there will be” e.g., There will be many managers attending the meeting. Better: Many managers will attend the meeting.
- “the reason why is that . . .” A simple “because” will suffice.
- “at this time” . . . Now!
To reinforce this, take something you wrote and circle any of these extraneous phrases. Challenge yourself to rework or remove them altogether. You may choose to keep some in, but at least you’ve asked the question: “Do I really need this phrase?” (You don’t need “really” here.)
Keep this list handy. What would you add to it? Comment here.