Brevity is famously the soul of wit, but it\u2019s also highly valued in academia and the business world. Why? Because writing succinctly will help you get your point across clearly, making your work more impactful.\r\n\r\nPerhaps the simplest way to make your writing more succinct is to shorten your sentences. Handily, we have a few top tips for doing exactly that!\r\n1. Avoid Redundancy\r\n\u201cRedundancy\u201d means using additional words that don\u2019t add anything meaningful to a sentence. The phrase \u201ctwelve midnight,\u201d for instance, means exactly the same thing as \u201cmidnight,\u201d so the \u201ctwelve\u201d is redundant.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s therefore a good idea to check your sentences for unnecessary words, as cutting these out will make a long sentences shorter. For example:\r\nIn actual fact, every single nurse worked from 3 am in the morning to twelve midnight.\r\nCould be easily rewritten to say the same thing with fewer words:\r\nIn fact, every nurse worked from 3 am to midnight.\r\n\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_33330" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Must be why Florence Nightingale always looked so tired.[\/caption]\r\n2. Break Up Long Sentences\r\nSometimes, long sentences are easier to follow if broken down into two or more statements. The following, for instance:\r\nMaking a sentence too long can be confusing because it is easy to lose track of what was said at the beginning, since they do not give the reader enough time to process what they are reading and by the end of the sentence you might have forgotten where it started!\r\nThat\u2019s 51 words with barely a pause for breath. It would make sense to break it down into three shorter sentences:\r\nMaking a sentence too long can be confusing. It is easy to lose track of what was said at the beginning, since they do not give the reader enough time to process what they are reading. By the end of the sentence you might have forgotten where it started!\r\n\r\n3. Beware Padding Words\r\nPadding words and phrases are things like \u201cin my opinion\u201d or \u201cas a matter of fact,\u201d which make a sentence longer but don\u2019t usually add much meaning.\r\n\r\nSaying \u201cIn my opinion, the political atmosphere is toxic,\u201d for instance, means exactly the same as \u201cThe political atmosphere is toxic.\u201d If you need to shorten a sentence, try looking for padding phrases you could remove.\r\n4. Use the Active Voice\r\nWe\u2019re often taught to avoid the active voice in academic writing, but sometimes using the passive voice makes sentences unwieldy. For example, the passive sentence:\r\nThe hypothesis was supported by the results.\r\nCould be made a little simpler by using the active voice:\r\nThe results support the hypothesis.\r\n\r\n5. A Final Thought\u2026\r\nUsing only short sentences can make your writing lack fluency. To make your work engaging, the best thing to do is vary sentence length. You can then save shorter, punchier sentences for when you need to make a forceful point or ensure clarity.