Spice Up Your Writing

You would think that you would have to add additional words to spruce up your writing in papers or personal works, but that’s simply not the case and a bit unnecessary when you take into account that roughly seventy percent of our words are meaningless. Yes, I just made up that statistic. But according to The Globe and Mail, if you want your writing to sound more elegant and powerful, all you have to do is cut out some words. These are everyday words that we use without hesitation; but the article as linked here gives us a reason to hesitate and reread that paper before we turn it into our professors. This article is perfect for those who are going into a major having anything to do with writing and/or journalism.

You can always improve your writing. (photo by Kristin Nador)

You can always improve your writing. (photo by Kristin Nador)

#1: Remove filler words

I understand that you need just twenty more words to complete your five-hundred word essay, but that doesn’t mean that you should fill up your paper with words like “just.” It isn’t doing you any good. In fact, it makes your paper seem less formal – and more immature. Two things that you should want to do without.

#2: Talking informal, as if to a friend

It’s fine when you’re chatting with friends on social media, saying something is “Really weird,”or “Very disturbing,” but saying something is really anything in a paper is really incorrect. It’s not incorrect in that it’s grammatically wrong – it just adds to emphasis to a paper. Think about it this way: what’s the difference between saying that something is really weird or just simply weird? There’s not much of one. In many ways, “really” is also a filter word that should be excluded.

#3. Uncertainty

There are things in writing you just don’t do. One of them is being uncertain about what you’re saying. After all, that’s just opening up the door for plagiarism, which is mostly an offense that people don’t realize they’re making – but still counts nonetheless. To avoid sounding uncertain about your work, obviously you’ll want to a) not make up things in your papers and/or b) cut words like perhaps and maybe. You make yourself sound less reliable than if otherwise.

#4. Specificity

If you’re more specific, the better your writing will be. That’s because we’re not left to guess if something is “this” or “that.” It’s “books,” “movies,” or even, “tips.” They say writers use the word “things” to create mystery or simply to avoid using clearer communication. In your papers, you’re not going to want to do that.

#5. “Quite”

This word needs to be dealt with in a delicate manner. Sometimes it adds meaning by acting as a bit of a gauge – “a bit,” “completely,” or “almost” being the main forms used. Other times, it’s used in the same manner as “really” or “very.” If you learn to tell the difference, you’ll be fine. The author of the article gives the advice: “When in doubt, cut it out.”

If you want to see the other five words to cut, click the link as given in the first paragraph.

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