8 Effective Tips to Reduce Word Count

If you’re wondering how to reduce word count for your article, you’re in luck. This article explores ever

8 Tips to Reduce Word Count in Writing

Writing is a tedious process, often comprised of long paragraphs and many words. Whether you’re writing a paper, an essay, or a blog, there are often long-winded passages that detract from the quality of your work. Yet, writing less can seem complicated and discouraging at first.

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Below are eight practical tips to reduce word count without sacrificing significant meaning.

1. Remove “The” & “That” from your sentences

You may often get away without using the word “the” in your content.

Original: I would like to have both the cake and the chocolate for dessert.

Edited: I would like to have both cake and chocolate for dessert.

Likewise, the term “that” is frequently overused and can be easily removed from your writing without much difference.

Original: I noticed that the new intern deleted the folder that contained the main file.

Edited: I noticed the new intern deleted the folder containing the main file.

2. Eliminate Adverbs and Adjectives

Adverbs and adjectives are used to modify verbs and nouns in a sentence. However, strong words don’t always require modification.

The majority of adverbs and adjectives weaken powerful verbs and nouns, lowering the effect of your writing. To make your writing stronger and more concise, eliminate needless adverbs and adjectives.

3. Remove Lengthy Phrases

In any writing project, it’s essential to make a point or idea clear, concise, and practical with few words.

This is essential for better audience comprehension and higher readership. This can be accomplished by trimming the wordy phrases from your writing. Make your writing more organized, and Look for unnecessary words to eliminate and long phrases to condense.

Original:All the new recruits are requested to attend the meeting that has been scheduled for Saturday.

Edited: New recruits are requested to attend the meeting on Saturday.

4. Write in Active Voice

Active voice is when the subject matter of the sentence performs the action. When compared to passive speech, active voice employs fewer words and helps you write clear and compelling content.

It’s easier to read and comprehend when messages are not overly outlined.

Passive: The class was canceled by the teacher.

Active: The teacher canceled the class.

5. Avoid Extra Transitions

You can use several strategies to improve your word count without losing too much meaning. It is common to write sentences that begin with a word or phrase such as “Indeed,” “similarly,” or “furthermore.”

These phrases are sometimes unnecessary, and the reader will likely become discouraged by the repetition. You can quickly revise such transitions without hampering the meaning. You can use simple substitutions to remove unnecessary transitions.

Original:Indeed, we reached the final round of the competition.

Edited: we reached the final round of the competition.

6. Reduce Conjunctions

Try to cut out unnecessary conjunctions. Conjunctions link two discrete statements that can be rewritten as two separate sentences.

Take a look at your writing and find the parts that end with a conjunction such as “that,” “but,” or “for.” This may sound like English grammatical rules, but it’s a copywriting strategy often employed to make writing easier to read.

Original: I wanted to study with my friend in the afternoon, and we needed a quiet place to sit and concentrate.

Edited: I wanted to study with my friend in the afternoon. We needed a quiet place to sit and concentrate.

7. Get Rid of Repetitions

Read through your content carefully to find and cut repetitions. This is an easy way to reduce word count quickly.

Though the process can take longer than other techniques, it leads to more significant word reduction. You may struggle to recognize repetitions in your writing, but reading your content backward sentence-by-sentence can help. It lets your brain be more focused on the content.

8. Remove any Previous Content References.

It’s best not to reference previous information with phrases like those mentioned in the previous section or described earlier. These are mostly filler words, and removing them will help you cut a few words off your word limit.


While these tips can help you reduce your word count quickly, no one suggestion will be more effective than the other. Experiment with a few of these and find what works for you.

Additionally, the order of these tips doesn’t matter; the importance of each point varies for everyone. So try these eight tips to understand which one works best for a particular piece. Ultimately, it all comes down to practice and writing.

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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