How To Shorten An Essay

A good essay conveys the whole idea in simple words without any irrelevant content or dragging of the subject. Students find it very challenging to put the information concisely. Some essays might require lots of explanation and information. In that case, they might have a hard time reducing their word count because of the structure of the essay.

The essay writing process can be stressful if you have to make changes to it at the last date of its submission. Students find it very challenging to edit and reduce the word count of their essays at the last moment. The pressure to meet the deadline does not spare them time to make changes to their essay.

Why should an essay be shortened?

To stay within the word limit defines how well an essay is written. The length of an essay correlates with its quality. Students are advised to write an essay according to the word count. If the essay exceeds the word limit, they have to cut their essay short.

This is to skip the irrelevant content and make an essay more sound. It enables students to have a strong grip on the subject matter, so they can write precisely on a comprehensive topic. The trick to getting the highest marks with your essay is to avoid writing long paragraphs.

Many students don’t know that the length of a paragraph can determine how well they will do in the exam. Here are some ways to reduce the word count of your essay

  • Remove worst paragraphs

    You will be able to make your essay much easier to read if you use this technique of removing paragraphs that are dull and unclear. Sometimes, it is good to delete some paragraphs and combine them into one. For example, if you have two paragraphs that both tell about a journey that a person went on, you could combine them to make one paragraph that tells about that journey.

    Students should combine the two paragraphs that don’t add anything to the argument into one sentence. This way, there will not be too many words in an essay.

    There are lots of ways that you can write a better essay. If students are using a software program, they can easily find out how many words are in each paragraph and how long they are.

  • Read-Out-Loud

    Some students are very good at writing and can express themselves well. They can write beautiful and elegant essays. Some students get low marks on their poorly written essays. They can improve their essay quality by reading them aloud.

    Reading aloud will help them know about the mistakes they have made in writing an essay. They can listen for weaknesses using google translate or Microsoft software.

    The read-out-loud option allows students to look at their essays from their teacher’s point of view. You may be thinking "Is that sentence difficult?" If so, you should pause the audio for the sentence and reread it aloud.

    Students have to make sure that they write a well-structured essay with a clear focus. There should be no grammar mistakes and everything must be perfectly organized.

  • Delete Irrelevant Words

    This is the simple and easiest way to make your essay short and up to the mark. After writing your essay, read it again. You will see plenty of words and ideas that are unnecessary and repetitive.

    Pick point those irrelevant words, and phrases and delete them. There may be bulky sentences that need to be simplified. Remove vague sentences to make your paragraph up to 3-5 sentences long. Sometimes adverbs and adjectives are overly used in essays and omitting these makes an essay more concise.

  • Use Active Voice

    If you use an active voice in your writing, it will have a great positive impact on your essay. Active voice conveys the same information in fewer words as compared to passive voice. Essays having active voices are cleaner and more appealing.

  • Write short paragraphs

    The longer a paragraph is, the harder it will be to read. There are many things you can do to reduce the length of your paragraphs.

    A good paragraph is between 4 and 7 sentences long. This is the ideal length for a paragraph. There are two reasons for this. The first is that this length helps to ensure that you haven’t gone off on a tangent. The second reason is that this length helps to ensure that you haven’t provided too many explanatory or example sentences.

    If your essay's paragraphs are longer than 7 sentences, you need to cut them short without affecting the quality of content.

Also Read: How To Have Better Brainstorming


To write an outstanding essay, students should have a firm grasp of the topic and they should know what they are writing about. If the main idea is crystal clear this will make the essay writing process smooth. If they are unclear about the topic, they will drag the subject and exceed the essay length. This is why reducing the word count of an essay is so important. Following the above-mentioned steps will help students to shorten their essays and make them look and sound better.

By reducing the word count, the final essay will be cleaner, easier to read, and easier to mark. Make sure whatever you write, each word and sentence has its meaning. If removing that word does not alter the meaning, you can delete it and reduce the word count from the essay.

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