Fewer Words, Better Writing

Ed Weathers is an accomplished writer, editor and instructor.  His suggestions for stating what you mean to say concisely and with clarity are worth your time to review.  

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19 Responses to Fewer Words, Better Writing

  1. John Jones says:

    I really wish I had seen this article before writing my college application essays. Myself, like many of my colleagues in high school, found it quite difficult to express ourselves and give ourselves good impressions in essays with a limit as few as 300 words. This article is on point with many examples of how to cut the “fluff” and make your writing stronger while simultaneously conserving the precious word count. This article will definitely serve as a resource for me in future writing endeavors where word count is key. I also really liked the reference of the word count of the Gettysburg Address, if Lincoln could move people with only 272 words then we should able to do the same with 500.

  2. Lewis Tucker says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article, it provided me with much insight into improving my concise writings. When I was in high school the challenge was writing enough in an essay but the problem in college in many instances is not writing too much; many essays and writings in college need to be concise. This is a drastic difference and is not an easy adaptation but this article has given me very good tips to help me accomplish this. I am glad I have seen and read this article as it will help me very much in my writings. What makes this piece so great is that it states what needs to be done and gives an example of what it looks like with and without the advice; it is a very practical piece. I believe that everyone can use this piece in their own writing.

  3. Will Coffey says:

    First things first, Ed’s the man! I’ve known Ed for years and I read his blog quite often. This article can improve my writing in many ways, especially on essays and papers that have restricted lengths. Ed provides so many great suggestions on how to cut unnecessary “fluff” out, and still deliver just as effective sentence or statement. Using this article as a checklist for a final edit of a paper or essay could prove to be extremely beneficial and I plan to reference it multiple times in the near future.

  4. Anne Walsack says:

    I think this is a great article to read for not only high school students writing their college applications, but also students that have a word limit on a paper. I have had a few assignments already that have had very small word limits for a paper that requires a lot of information. This article can help students focus on a topic and condense a paper without losing any of the information.

  5. Rachel E says:

    This article serves as an excellent example of how to be concise and profound. I really wish I had seen this article before now, for writing papers in high schools, college applications because of the word count, and even for current papers. I find myself using too many words to describe something. This article has given me some serious writing tips, which I will have to use in the future since I am not the most profound writer.

  6. Hoo In Won says:

    Few words = Better writing? yes, by using big and academical words, one can shorten the sentences, which can make the writing seems much more delicate and sophisticated. But i believe that essay with using few words does not necessary mean a better essay. I believe that most important part about writing is being able to communicate with as many reader as possible. One should be able to consider the level of reader and manage to use “right amount” of words.

  7. Cat Hauser says:

    This has definitely helped me out in many cases. Every Tuesday and Thursday I have a paper due in my freshman English class and he wants us to get right to the point. His article helped more than the pages in the book my English professor tells us to read and now it is easier and quicker to write my papers. It also helps in the papers that have a limited number of words with a lot of needed information.

  8. Allyson True says:

    I think everyone should read this article before they write a paper. It would have been helpful while I was writing college essays and scholarship letters but you can always learn and improve. I would have loved to have read this in high school when I was writing tons of English papers and I think it will definitely help me now in Leadership class. When we had to write our first one-page paper, I had trouble limiting my personal values to one page. I will make sure to use this article when I write my next paper.

  9. Kyla Mauro says:

    I think being able to write in a concise and attention grabbing way is very beneficial. When you move into the workforce, a boss will not want a huge essay on a topic that they only have minimal time to read. You will need to be able to get your full thought out in a matter of sentences. This article is completely right and very helpful for future papers.

  10. Abigail Bartolome says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article. I’ve had to proof read stacks upon stacks of papers where the write will either dance around the issue, or the writer may repeat the same sentence over again using new vocabulary words in each sentence to seem more intelligent. It takes away from the true thought behind the paper.

  11. Francisco Gabitan says:

    If your statement is clear and concise, once enough. This article is an amazing guiding road for an aspiring orator such as myself.

  12. Andrew says:

    It has always been said that quality over quantity is much more important when trying to capture an audience, and I completely agree with that and what the author says in regard to writing and speaking.

  13. Courtney H says:

    I agree with Andrew: quality over quantity. This applies to our LDRS class as well, because the papers we are assigned are supposed to be only one page, but the topics we have to write on are very in-depth. It is difficult to cut-down what I want to say to a one page paper, but it is not impossible, and the end result is even more worthwhile because the paper is to the point yet still meaningful.

  14. Carly Scullin says:

    This article is fantastic and I wish I had read it sooner. This is helpful not only when writing an admission paper for college, but for papers while in college. It is important like others said to have quality over quantity. This is especially relevant when writing one page paper for leadership.

  15. Adam says:

    For a speaker these tips are helpful as well. Being clear and concise can help get the attention of listeners more effectively. It also brings the message across with more emphasis.

  16. Jake Brown says:

    I LOVE this article! I’m writing essays for my application to be an RA and it is important that the content be put infront of the amount of word in the essay. People care more about what you write then how much you write. I think we need to remember this when commenting on blog posts as well. If we get our point across in 2 sentences that’s good enough. No need to write a book.

  17. Victoria Gray says:

    I totally agree with this article, quality is better than quantity. This article is definitely helpful when writing a short essay, like the essays in our leadership class.

  18. Miles Rachner says:

    I believe that if something can be done with less, then why not do it that way? This is very true in the case of writing or speaking. Getting to the point and focusing on that point is far more effecting than having filler and beating around the bush. However I do think it is a skill to be able to find a balance in being able to capture peoples attention and yet getting a message across. I also believe in quality over quantity. I find that today many people would rather buy a cheap item that may break a few time which they have to replace, than buying a more expensive item that would not break. However like I said it is still good to be able to find a balance.

  19. Jerry Huang says:

    This man is reminiscent of the hemingway-esque style of writing concisely and clearly. While this may be true for a narrative or an instructional manual, many stories are much more amusing when written with flair. The difference between the hilariously ironic situation your father was in and the fact that your father was injured in an accident is word choice and how the passage was written. Writing cannot be defined as too concise or too prudish due to its subjective nature.

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