Dissertation Writing Tips: Tightening up Your Academic Writing
July 31, 2018
When editors write things like “tighten this up!” or talk about “tightening up” during a consultation, they’re not referring to physical fitness! Tightening up a piece of writing, whether it’s academic or creative, means cutting the excess, streamlining the ideas, and getting to the point. It’s a byproduct of good editing and revising, and a goal of good writing. Overly complex academic writing or “purple prose” (flowery, overdone) in creative writing sounds amateurish and often doesn’t capture the reader’s attention for long.
Dissertation Editor has a team of expert editors who can help tighten your writing and assist you in taking your writing to the next level. Contact us to learn more! In the meantime, check out these tips to help you streamline your writing:
- Make a plan. Whether it’s an outline, bullet points, or just notes, good, tight writing often comes from planning ahead. When you plan your writing, you can clarify the point of each section, it provides you with clear direction, and you’re less likely to digress or include information that doesn’t really fit in that section.
- Use active voice. Passive voice often involves more words and is more verbose than active voice. Active voice is more direct, which is something to strive for in academic writing.
- Break up. (Your sentences, that is). Complex sentences don’t add professionalism or convey expertise; in fact, just the opposite. When you know something inside and out, a hallmark of expertise is being able to explain it in plain language, simple terms, and as concisely as possible. Break up long, complex sentences into simple sentences.
- Cut the fat. Read over your work – or better yet, get a professional editor like the ones on our expert editing team – and cut words like “on the other hand,” “Then again,” “however,” “in order to,” “currently,” and so forth, especially if you tend to repeat these multiple times throughout your paper. Look to see where you can cut extraneous words that don’t add anything to the sentence.
- Be concise. Similar to the previous tip, don’t use overly complex words or a lot of jargon. Use simple words, be careful of overusing adverbs (-ly words), and redundant words and phrases.
If you’d like to tighten up your academic writing but aren’t sure where to start, contact us today! Our team of expert editors can edit and format your documents, provide feedback and guidance, and even set up consultations with you for focused, one-on-one instruction to help you take your writing to the next level.