Picture this: you just finished your newly furnished blog, and it’s all set for you to post on your site. Even before deciding to have it published online, you already have a few of your friends and relatives giving you flattery comments for a job well done. Well, who could blame them? You did a pretty good job. And when you finally got to post it, it didn’t even take long before your new post got some comments. You were happy with everything they said about your post and you as a writer. You just sit on your bench feeling so contented with your new craft. As you sit in front of the monitor, you quietly think about a new topic to write about, which will no doubt get tons of positive feedback as well.
That seems to be the fantasy, doesn’t it? But unfortunately, you’re not there yet. You’re still stuck on your site with no significant amount of visitors. You don’t even know if you should bother writing that next article. Well, sure. You already have a few comments under some of your posts, all saying how they appreciated your blog. But it sure isn’t enough to drive more traffic. As a writer, you’re a bit ambitious, and you’re starting to become impatient. You want people to start noticing you, but with a number of good writers already out there on the internet, it’s not going to be easy.
You suddenly feel that you aren’t as good as a writer as you thought you were. Well, the thing is you’re probably pretty good at writing, the only problem is you’re so used to the kind of writing you’ve been doing all your life that you fail to improve it further. But what is there to improve about writing? I mean it’s writing. You’re just supposed to write. Whether people like it or not is not going to determine your value as a writer.
If that’s how you see it, then you better think again. I know you’ve spent a lot of time just trying to edit your writing. But perhaps there’s more you can do for it. There is no such thing as perfect writing.
Most of the time, writers are so concerned about their word count that their writing turns out to be a mess. You might want to consider eliminating some parts in your article. And when you do, make sure that you do delete them from your writing vocabulary. Why? Well, it’s because they’re just clunky. Clunky writing means that there isn’t much thought in your sentences. It’s just one of the writer’s tricks to get more word count. Read on to learn about common phrases that lead to clunky writing:
In terms of
Okay, you might have heard or read this phrase a couple of times before. It’s mostly popular among students because they think that using this phrase within their student papers makes their work sound more academic and factual. But apparently the phrase “in terms of” is completely meaningless. Its only cause is to determine what a certain topic is about. If you’re faced with context wherein you feel like you need to use this phrase, just use “about” instead.
The fact that
This is yet another phrase that intends to sound authoritative. When faced with a concept that requires you to use a phrase that identifies a specific fact or explanation, then you better just resort to “because”, or “since”.
It’s a rule in good grammar and writing that we use simple words as much as possible. So, no matter how tempting it is to use a clunky phrase, if you can write it in a simpler way, then that’s just what you should do.
Needless to say
This phrase means that something is already self-evident. It implies that something is too obvious. Well, if that’s the case, then there’s no reason for you to say it all. If you’re still saying it, it’s because some readers might miss the point, which indicates that it’s not as self-evident as you say it is.
This phrase is an empty phrase. When writing, it should be your goal to add knowledge to each sentence you construct.
In order to
It’s just like what I said before, some writers write for the word count. That’s not how it should be done. You instead write for your readership since they are the people that will have to understand it.
If you find that you can write something without using the phrase “in order”, then don’t use it. For example: “in order to assess her current situation”. People are fond of writing it that way when they can just write it this way: “to assess her current situation”.
First and foremost
This is a common phrase that you’ll mostly read in students essays, and even on some internet articles too. Why am I telling you to deviate from it? Well, “first” and “foremost” has the same meaning. It’s both redundant and meaningless if you use those two words at the same time.
The point of writing is to deliver a message or information. By using two words with the same meaning, you’re ruining this purpose. Apologies for how that sounded. But it’s true. Every word or phrase you add in your writing should add to this purpose.
It’s important to note that
This is also one of the writer’s tricks to increase word count. Look, I get it. You need to get to that word count. Otherwise, your writing will be for nothing. You’ve got to reach that word count or else Google will ignore your website. Okay, that reason is good enough, but you don’t have to sacrifice good and clean writing for your word count.
Instead, you can do more research on your chosen topic, and choose a simpler phrase that’ll suffice for “it’s important to note that”. Your readers will thank you for it.
Danny Adams is a proud alumnus of University of Oregon with a degree in creative writing. With his writing finesse and knack for managing people, he co-founded essayhelp.io. Some of his published articles are aimed towards helping and providing opportunities for freelance writers. If his busy schedule permits, Danny indulges in golf or hockey.