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Grammarly: Wordiness


Wordiness can have several causes, and long, complex sentences can sometimes be difficult for readers to understand. There is no rule that academic writing cannot use short, clear sentences. In fact, "Authors seeking publication and students completing assignments increase their chances of success when they write concisely" (American Psychological Association, 2020, p. 113).

In this paper, Grammarly has identified 10 instances of wordiness:

screen shot of grammarly feedback

The student has written the following:

It is important to take the definitions of intelligence and give that meaning back to the learner and those that work closely with the learner for learning success.

Excessive use of clauses ("to the learner," "those that work closely," and "for learning success") as well as repetition of the words "learner" and "learning" make this sentence seem wordy. The student could edit this sentence and make it easier to read:

For academic success, both learners and instructors must be familiar with the definitions of intelligence.

The new sentence is shorter and avoids repetition, but it has not lost any meaning.

The Writing Center has a great resource on smoothness and economy of expression at Precision, Clarity, & Academic Expression.