Do you find yourself writing too long sentences in your manuscript? Did you ever re-read your sentence and struggled to understand its meaning?
If yes, you may be suffering from something called prolixity, or in simple terms, wordiness. Wordiness is one of the common mistakes a writer makes. Prolixity happens when a writer, either intentionally or unintentionally, uses too many words or unnecessarily complex or abstract words in his document when the job can be done in a few words.
Wordiness can seriously impact the coherency and quality of your writing and will likely frustrate/bore your readers. So, here are ways to help you avoid wordiness and increase the quality of your medical manuscript.
4 Ways to Improve Wordiness in Medical Manuscript
One easy way to control wordiness is to limit (or eliminate) the use of “filler words.” Filler words are used between relevant words and may sound good but essentially they are useless.
For example, in the above paragraph, “Wordiness is one of the most common mistakes”, the word ‘most’ is a filler word. Leaving this word out would not change the meaning but actually improve the sentence.
Wordiness often becomes apparent while re-reading your document. For example, the phrase “Wordiness is one of the most common mistakes …” could be revised to “Wordiness is one of the common mistakes..” to make the sentence more concise.
Redundancies are another cause of wordiness. It can take two forms: redundant words or redundant information.
Redundant words are mostly found in descriptive writing when writers attempt to describe something and overuse the synonyms. For example: “He’s my paternal cousin from my father’s side of the family”. In this sentence, paternal cousin is self-explanatory and adding “from my father’s side of the family” is superfluous and redundant.
The second form of redundancy occurs when writers say the same thing many times but in different ways. Consequently, the readers are forced to read more, yet learn nothing new.
Redundant information often crops in such a way: “Scientists have found that cancer cells can be repressed through daily consumption of carrot juice twice. Carrot juice, when consumed on a twice-daily basis has been found to repress cancer cells.”
The two sentences while written differently contain the same information. Therefore, avoid redundant information to reduce wordiness in your manuscript writing.
Another thing to avoid in manuscript writing is the overuse of qualifiers.
Qualifiers come directly before an adjective or adverb and are used to either increase or decrease the quality of the modified word. For example, in the phrase “John is very lazy,” very is the qualifier. Overuse of such qualifiers can make a piece of writing sound lazily constructed and distract the readers.
Qualified words can often be replaced by a single, more potent word. For example, “Your Mom is extremely angry” could be shortened to “Your Mom is furious”.
When every adjective or adverb is preceded by very, extremely, barely, really or hardly, the qualifiers begin to lose their meaning. Always try to use one good word rather than two or three mediocre ones. This will instantly improve your writing.
Logorrhoea is the intentional use of long sentences or overly abstract wording and is the most frustrating form of wordiness.
A sentence which could have something succinct in three words, but instead the author composes a sentence so laden with adjectives and qualifiers that the readers simply get confused by the time they reach the end. All these extra words can unnecessarily complicate medical manuscript writing.
Here is an example of logorrhoea by a famous writer, George Orwell. He has deliberately used extra words to show off logorrhoea in political discourse and wrote this as an example of a sentence with many words, but little meaning:
“Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compel the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.”
While writing your research manuscript, always bear in mind that you are writing for your readers and not just for journal submission. To make reader-friendly research manuscript contact our professional medical manuscript writing service experts.
If your readers can’t understand what you’re saying, consider revising your sentences and making your writing more reader-friendly.
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