Getting rid of redundancy in academic writing

Oftentimes, I come across redundant prose which can be de-cluttered if authors strive for economy of writing. That is, every word must be essential in your writing.

After writing, I recommend reviewing your work to trim unnecessary words and phrases. In research papers, I have often come across hedge phrases such as “it is reported that”, “due to the fact that”, “it worth noting that”, “it is known that”. Get rid of these hedge phrases to brighten up your writing. Just state the fact.

Consider this example:

Avoid: “It is reported that COVID-19 killed millions of people worldwide (Zhang, 2020; Truce et al., 2021).”

Better: “COVID-19 killed millions of people worldwide (Zhang, 2020; Truce et al., 2021).”

It is clear that you are citing the extant literature, so cue phrases are unnecessary.

Target journal publications often advocate for concise research articles. You can achieve that by trimming unnecessary words and phrases in your writing. Examples of lengthy phrases are as follows:

At this point in time (now)

A large proportion of (many)

Sufficient enough (sufficient)

Basic fundamentals (basic)

Paramount importance (important or paramount)

Take into consideration (consider)

Eliminate altogether (eliminate)

Practise economy of writing by trimming unnecessary words and phrases. You can always contact an editor if you need help. We are here for you.

Published by leshabakhomotso

A professional text editor renowned for his excellent editorial skills in a broad range of disciplines.

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