8 Effective Tips to Reduce Word Count

If you’re wondering how to reduce word count for your…

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.

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.

Frequently asked questions

How do you shorten a sentence?

  • Use readability statistics. Activate this on your computer and it will do the counting for you.
  • Count the commas
  • Cut unnecessary conjunctions
  • I think a paragraph.
  • Remove redundant words
  • Keep your word count down.

How do I trim my writing?

  • Do not exceed one idea per sentence.
  • Avoid long sentences
  • The length of sentences can vary.
  • Don’t start with “There are.” This approach can make writing clumsy, so it may not be effective.

How do you reduce word count in creative writing?

  • Cut filter words. It’s unnecessary words that act as a barrier between the reader and the plot.
  • Tighten your sentences
  • Unnecessary scenes
  • Unnecessary characters
  • I cut down on dialogue tags.

How do you shorten a long paragraph?

Reduce sentences, phrases, and words in your paragraphs, so you can cut them in half. You can break it up with bullets. When you have a series of three or more items, then break them out of the paragraph in a bulleted or numbered list. Bullets not only break up paragraphs; they also reduce words by eliminating transitions.

What if I go over the word count?

In order to penalize overlong essays, 1% of the maximum obtainable mark will be deducted for every 100 words or parts thereof over the word limit. In other words, exceeding the word limit by 1-100 words incurs a deduction of 1%; exceeding by 101-200 words incurses a fee of 2%; and so on.

How do you cut words in word?

To open the Ribbon, select the Home tab, then select Cut or Copy. Copy or cut the text. Edit by key shortcut Ctrl + X or copy by keystroke Ctl + C. On the Mac, use Command + X or Command + C.

How much can you go under a word limit?

Never submit anything more than 10% below a word limit. If you are at the limit, you’re either going to give the impression that you didn’t put much effort, that you rushed it, or that you aren’t familiar with the topic.

How do you reduce words in an abstract?

  • Avoid passive sentences
  • Avoid the noun form.
  • Avoid long sentences
  • Avoid repetition
  • Avoid detailed descriptions
  • Include only the major elements.

Do references count in word count?

The word count counts them. You do not count your reference list and bibliography in your word count.

What words are not counted in essays?

These words, including ‘a’, ‘the’, and ‘to’,’an’, (in’, or) or ‘at’, make up around 15 to 20 percent of the grade. You shouldn’t overlook that large percentage of words. Similarly, numbers expressed as numerals (like ‘9’ or ‘200’) or date or time are counted as words.

How can I reduce my word count?

  • Delete “The”
  • Erase “That”
  • Remove adjectives and adjectives.
  • Use Shorter Words
  • Trim Wordy Phrases
  • Choose Active Voice
  • Revise Needless Transitions
  • Eliminate Conjunctions

How do you cut 1000 words in an essay?

  • You should begin with the big picture. Start with whole sections, then paragraphs, sentences, and words.
  • Don’t be afraid to look for long examples.
  • Summarize, summarize, summarize
  • Cut out repetition
  • Chop ancillary topics
  • (Ex. that or very).
  • Observe colloquial speech phrases.

How do you cheat a word count?

How do you count 300 words in an essay?

  • 1st step: count words in each line.
  • In Step 2, count the lines per page.
  • Step 3: Multiply
  • Step 4: Now that you know the number of words per page, multiply 176 by the number in your composition/essay.

How can I shorten my college essay?

  • Identify or highlight all adverbs. Take them out.
  • It would be ideal if you could find a single word or short phrase followed by a comma.
  • Delete helping verbs
  • Terminate to be verbs.
  • Nouns can become verbs: “I concluded” is better than “I came to the conclusion.”.
8 Effective Tips to Reduce Word Count

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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