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How to Shorten an Essay | Steps to Summarise an Essay

Countless students fear the idea of having to cut an essay and reduce their essay to meet the specified word count. After all, the first thing they consider is removing entire paragraphs, if not sentences. However, too many words in your essay can end up making your assignment look cluttered and confusing your reader. Nevertheless, if you follow this guide and come up with some innovative ways to conserve those precious words, you will soon be able to master how to shorten an essay.

Otherwise, you will end up with a cluttered piece. Before you know it, you will have to start writing another paragraph to address completely contradictory ideas or concepts. As a result, it will leave you with more words than you need.  Worse than anything, your lecturer may believe that the original essay was inadequate and award you a low mark as a result. Isn’t that horrifying?

How to Shorten an Essay

Writing an essay can be extremely difficult. Because if you want to be good at essay writing, you need to develop a logical structure, decide what types of evidence you should use, choose a suitable style, and much more. Besides that, all of this effort may result in a period of frustration.

You might put a lot of effort into creating your brilliant draught, only to realize that you must cut something more to satisfy the word count specifications. The more time and effort you put into the writing process, the more challenging it can be to decide what to cut down from your essay.

With that being said, keep on reading to learn how to shorten an essay in no time.

Remove Irrelevant Content

The easiest way to reduce the length of your essay without affecting its quality is to ensure that all that you write is completely relevant. However, getting rid of irrelevant points in your essay may be difficult. Because if you did not think that it was slightly relevant, you would not include it in the first place. 

Besides, if you want to score well, you should include more information and illustrations in your essay.

Other than that, if you intend to amaze your reader with an informative essay, incorporating some background details and information is a good alternative. However, we strongly suggest that you think at least twice before writing any additional details since you must also abide by the word count requirements.

Thus, ask yourself whether it is really necessary to include any specific information. Is it completely relevant? Or I s it required to add when writing about your subject? Does it add to the overall significance of the subject or topic? If you get a positive response as a result of these questions, make sure that you do not miss including that information.

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If you recognize that you need to considerably shorten your essay, this approach can be very effective. For example, if you need to cut your essay by 200 to 300 words, you should definitely use this method. This technique is extremely simple.
The typical college essay structure begins with more general statements and then moves on to more definitive pieces of information. Because shifting from general to specific allows you to create an appropriate logical structure. And this is why many teachers and guides suggest it.

Besides, it also helps in locating more and less essential pieces of information. So that you get a clearer picture of what you should eliminate from your essay. One of the most prominent pieces of content that you can remove from your essay is examples. Thus, without whichever example you feel like your essay can effectively deliver your argument, we recommend that you should remove that example.

Remove the Weeker paragraphs

A whole other strategy for writing a good essay that also meets strict word count criteria is to deliberately exceed the word limit when writing. So that one can eliminate entire paragraphs when proofreading. This is incredibly beneficial if you are restricted to writing a 200 words essay.

The good thing about this strategy is that it forces you to acknowledge that some of your writing is far superior to others. Thus, it allows you to view your college essay through the eyes of an instructor.

Eliminate any paragraphs that lack citations or have references to untrustworthy source materials. Thus, review your essay and figure out which paragraphs are the least persuasive. Keep only the strongest paragraphs that make a significant contribution to the topic and can amaze your readers.

Merge Sentences

To reduce the words in your essay without causing any damage to it, make sure you express your ideas clearly and concisely. Precise and clear writing will not only assist you in meeting all of the requirements, but it will also end up making your essay clearer and easier to read. Thus, pay close attention to concurrent sentences that concentrate on the same idea when proofreading your essay.

Besides, try mixing the meanings of two or more sentences and combining them into a single sentence to say the same thing in lesser words. However, just make sure that the final sentence is not too lengthy and complex. Because this will make your essay hard to read and comprehend.

Remove Unnecessary Words

When writing your essay, you may use a few redundant words that add no significance to your essay. With that being said, here is  an example of a sentence that you can easily shorten: “When writing your essay, you must make your essay precise to make sure that they are not too long.” 

You can start by removing the word “essays” including the end of this sentence. After all, a brief essay indicates that it is not too long.

A slightly shorter sentence might look something like this: “When writing your essay, try to make them precise.” Even though the new sentence is slightly shorter, the distinction in length may surprise you when you edit the redundant words throughout the essay.

Wisely Use Modifiers, adjectives, and adverbs

Let’s be honest that some verbs can be easily removed from your essay without affecting the context. It is also critical to remember that unnecessary generalization should be avoided when writing an essay. Besides, unnecessary broadening weakens your essay.

So, by modifying the overall meaning of a sentence, you can use qualifiers and modifiers to help you avoid generalizations.

Words such as “some,” “often,” “potentially,” “could,” “occasionally,” “completely,” and others can add a slight difference to your writing. Nevertheless, these words may lengthen your essay. And you can normally eliminate them without altering the overall meaning of your sentence.

As a result, we suggest that you avoid using such words excessively in your writing. Besides that, you should also remove a few of those when proofreading your essay.

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