Which Words Should You Cut from Your Writing?

A list of words to avoid in short essays

Create more value with fewer words.

Write with clarity. Review your drafts and cut without mercy. Boil down your ideas to the minimum and delete words that don’t add meaning.

Here’s an overview of those words:


Adverbs are better avoided. Express what you mean in the verb. Say whisper rather than talk softly.

Other adverbs can’t be expressed in the verb but don’t add content to your sentence either. Be critical about “actually”, “really” and “basically”.

Avoid “very”. Don’t say “very good” when you can use beautiful words like “outstanding”, “brilliant” and “superb”. Very happy means elated and very sad devastated.


When you’re writing an essay and are not quoting anyone, be careful with these words: Personally — To me — in my opinion — honestly.

 It’s obviously your opinion. And I would hope for you to always be honest when you write an essay.

Shorter versions: 

Some words and expressions are wordy. “In order to” is mostly the same as “to”. “That” can be deleted in many sentences.

Other words to avoid: 

“As a matter of fact”, “needless to say”, “and again”, “in conclusion” and “in other words” lead to repetitions. Not only should you delete these words but also what follows. If you need to repeat your message, you were not clear enough the first time.

So in conclusion …

Just kidding. That‘s it. Good luck!

Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

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