How to shorten an essay (2022 Top Expert Guide)

 What comes to a naive mind when dwelling on “how to shorten an essay” is that, it is a tedious and meticulous task. 

How to shorten an essay

Shortening an essay is not difficult when you grab the right tips and tricks. These are the best common ways to make your assigned essay shorter in terms of pages. Some of these methods may reduce the essay by three or four pages. Some may cause more pages, and some may create a more elusive outcome. 

Experiment with your submission and find the ideal combination. Do not worry about the assignment due date; focus on the cat.

The five best ways to make an essay shorter include: 

1. Start with a thesis statement. A good thesis statement is the foundation of a well-rounded paper. When you begin your essay, make a clear statement. Be able to back that statement up if necessary, but be prepared to argue for it in a strong sense. Avoid the sentence “I believe that X.” Instead, state a thesis to help the reader understand exactly how you feel and why. 

2. Read your essay out loud. This will help you find areas that need improvement, and it will keep you aware of the pace of this activity. 

3. Take notes. It is easy to get caught up in this activity and lose sight of what else needs to be done. Make a note of the best ideas that come to you while doing this research activity. 

4. When writing the thesis, write down how you will prove or support it. Read your essay aloud again, and look for areas where you need more information. 

5. If your project is expository, the most commonly misunderstood aspect is the conclusion. You need to write the conclusion at the end of your project. Make sure it is clear, concise, and to the point. 

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash


Can we shorten our essays through paraphrasing? Yes, we can. However, many students mistake rewording what they learn in the book. To create a properly-written paraphrase, you need to understand the original text and also be careful to maintain its organization. 

Paraphrasing language that is poor, vague, or missing essential details can have a significant impact on the audience. To write a good paraphrase, you need to practice and review it before publishing.

 The best way to write a good paraphrase is that the writer expresses his ideas in his own words. While paraphrasing, ensure your reader understands what you mean by your sentences and writing.

Write More Concisely – Tips to Shorten Your Essay

Need help on how to shorten an essay? Shortening your essay is not a difficult thing to do, but it might require some effort. You will have a concise and engaging essay if you follow these steps!

Here are eight proven tips to shorten your essay:

1. Use simple, everyday words. Don’t try to conceal yourself behind big words. They will only exacerbate your flaws. 

2. Remove any unnecessary words.

Examine your adverbs (strongly, gratuitously), adjectives (large, great), and qualifiers (very, somewhat). The majority of the words you don’t need can be found here. Consider whether they are necessary. If not, get rid of them.

3. Avoid using nominalization.

How many times have you suffocated a verb by making it a noun? 

(delude – delusion, exclude – exclusion, contract – contraction) Stop it!

4. Avoid using these five words too close to a verb.

Desist from using the words’ take,’ ‘give, “make,’ ‘conduct,’ and ‘come’ too close to a verb or a nominalized verb phrase. They detract from the clarity of your sentences. 

Example: ‘The organization needs to take the defects into consideration.’ should be ‘The organization needs to consider the defects.’ 

Other tips to shorten your essay include:

5. Make use of strong, specific verbs and nouns. This allows you to avoid using the passive voice, cut down on wordiness, and eliminate modifiers and qualifiers.

6. Make use of the active voice.

You must use the active voice if you follow plain language rules. It assists you in simplifying your message and saying precisely what you want to say. The active voice eliminates uncertainty. We are always aware of who is doing what. The Hemingway App assists you in identifying passive voice.

7. Avoid using jargon.

Overused phrases in a company or industry lose all meaning. Please refrain from using the terms’ like, ‘think outside the box,’ ‘win-win situation,’ ‘low-hanging fruit,’ and ‘pushing the envelope.’ Your readers will ignore you if you don’t say what you mean.

8. Avoid using verbs that require you to ‘tell.’

When used to describe something, these ten verbs will unnecessarily increase your word count. 

These ten verbs are appeared, mused, seemed, thought, wondered, seemed, felt, decided, heard, and realized. Stay away from them.


Shortening an essay requires a lot of focus, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Try out these tips, and soon you’ll be able to significantly shorten your essay without removing any significant content from the piece.

Think about your essay like a puzzle. You can add and subtract individual pieces to make the picture stronger. 

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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