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I'm writing a review of Richard Lanham's Revising Prose.

Revising Prose provides detailed examples and tutorials that will help you clarify, simplify, and make your writing more concise.

What word can I use to replace "make your writing more concise"?

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4 Answers 4

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Try "Revising Prose provides examples and tutorials that will clarify your writing." I also like the verbs tune up and sharpen.

There is a bit more tightening that could be done: "Using examples and tutorials, Revising Prose will clarify your writing." Or you could break it up something like this: "Revising Prose will clarify your writing. Using examples and prose, . . ."

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  • I used your second suggestion: medium.com/docsfordevs/…
    – user371793
    Jan 9, 2020 at 19:59
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    You're using the word tightening, but you're not suggesting it. What's wrong with clarify, simplify, and tighten your writing? Jan 10, 2020 at 18:47
  • @PeterShor That's a great suggestion. I've updated my blog post: medium.com/docsfordevs/….
    – user371793
    Jan 10, 2020 at 22:27
  • Revising might well include expounding for clarity. Jan 31, 2020 at 19:39
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You could try “... and shorten your writing.”

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Sometimes, I find that when the end of one of my sentences is too long, the whole sentence should be tightened. I like to think of my text as a tweet that must convey everything with no characters wasted.

Thus, in your case, I came up with:

Revising Prose explores how to write clearer and concise writing.

I took out "simpler" as I felt that was implied.

Then I considered that "explores how to" has a single word replacement:

Revising Prose demonstrates writing clearer, concise writing.

Which it should not take a genius to realise is a horrible sentence with needless repetition. Thus I went further:

Revising Prose examines concise and clearer writing.

19 words reduced to 7.

If this was me, I would now move on to talking about the tutorials.

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  • You don't "write writing". You write prose. Jan 10, 2020 at 18:44
  • @Peter Shor Isn't that a quote from Popeye? Jan 10, 2020 at 19:41
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One can (sometimes) resort to a neologism that relies on established meaning:

Revising Prose provides detailed examples and tutorials that will help you clarify, simplify, and 'compact-ify' your writing.

OR Revising Prose provides detailed examples and tutorials that will help you clarify, simplify and [consolidate] your writing, into its most effective essence.

OR Revising Prose provides detailed examples and tutorials that will help you clarify, simplify, and [concentrate] your writing into its most effective essence.

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