In this video I will show you the Techniques on How to Quickly Shorten Your Essay
We have a question from a subscriber. His name is Hamza, and his question is: “How do I compress an essay of 700-1000 words, or even more, to just 300 words?”
Excellent question, and let’s get right to it. You can do more than one thing to shorten your essay.
Here are three techniques, and I’m giving them to you in the order you should try them out.
Technique #1: Do Sentence Cleanup
Here’s what I mean. Too often, students’ sentences are way too wordy, and you find that you could say the same thing in much fewer words.
Here’s an example. “In my opinion, there are many people who want to lose weight.”
How many words is that? Twelve.
Here’s how we can shorten it by performing a Sentence Cleanup.
First, you never really have to say, “In my opinion,” because if it were not your opinion, you wouldn’t be stating it. Okay? So, let’s cross out “in my opinion.”
Next, the phrase “there are” is usually unnecessary and, if you take it out, your sentence will become more elegant. So, let’s do it. Let’s just cross it out.
And we also have to cross out the extra word “who” because it is only needed if you use “there are.”
And so our sentence becomes “Many people want to lose weight.”
How many words is that? That’s six words. Guess what – we just cut this sentence in half. Do this enough times in your essay, and it will get a lot shorter.
Technique #2: Removing Redundancies
Look for repetitive stuff in your content and remove it. Students do this all the time – they just repeat stuff over and over, using different words, and thinking that they’re writing great content. Here’s an example.
Let’s say the student writes about his trip to Paris, and he says: “I found that Parisians are very nice if you talk to them in French.”
And then, in the same or even different paragraph or section, this would appear: “Parisians can be very nice people, but they really prefer that you speak French with them.”
Well, this is the same thing, just said in different words. So, what do you do? Pick the longer sentence, and just delete it. Simple as that. Sometimes you will find a whole paragraph in your essay that is repetitive and can be removed without the essay losing any meaning.
Technique #2: Zooming Out
Now, if your essay is airtight, but you still need to shorten it, you can use the technique of Zooming Out. It is very powerful for this purpose. And here’s what it comes down to.
In your essay, you make statements that are:
- very general
- less general
- somewhat specific
- very specific
The most general statement in your essay is the thesis because it summarizes the entire essay. And the most specific segments of your essay are examples.
So, in order to shorten your essay, you can really contract your examples. Let’s say you’re writing about the harms of second-hand smoking. And in one of the sections you provide an example of your friend or someone in the news who became seriously ill because she lived with a smoker for a long time. And you have it written out in a lot of detail, telling her story, how many years she lived with her smoking spouse, how her symptoms began to appear, and so on.
Well, you can simply contract this example into one short sentence and say something like, “One woman became very sick after having lived for seven years with a smoking spouse.”
You are Zooming Out a little because you are no longer exploring this example in detail. You simply provide a fact without giving a lot of specific information. So, look for these detailed examples and just contract each of them into one short sentence.
And this is how you can quickly and easily shorten your essay by hundreds of words.