Whether you write to become the next bestselling author, are just trying to keep a blog, or need to finish an essay for class, there are certain words you should try to avoid in order to make your writing more precise. In school, we’re taught grammar and the “rules” of writing, and although writing can and should be a deeply personal experience, words that are nondescript will dilute the ideas you’re attempting to get across to the reader and may even have them stop reading entirely. While it may be quite difficult to keep these words out entirely, they should be kept to a minimum because these filler words are lifeless and can be confusing.
I once had a professor that absolutely forbade his students from using that in a sentence. While it may seem strict, thinking on it now he was correct. Most of the time, when the word “that” is in a sentence it can be taken away easily without the meaning of the sentence changing. For example, “The hamburger was the most delicious that I’ve ever eaten” can easily be changed into “The hamburger was the most delicious I’ve ever eaten.”
This word is used frequently in people’s writing because it’s a word that is incorporated in our vernacular extensively. Really is a filler word, adding length to a sentence but nothing else. Instead of saying your food is really delicious, just say your food is delicious, or better yet, find another word that is more descriptive than delicious, like delectable.
Using really throughout an essay or other piece of writing is not going to help your reader understand what is going on and it may even get frustrating for them if they keep reading it over and over again.
These words can also be found in student’s essays because they will sometimes say they will use “I think” or “I feel” before leading into their argument or idea. Instead of saying these words, lead in my stating the idea and nix how you feel. If you’re writing it, you obviously feel or think the things that you’re writing.
After you’ve finished a piece of writing, look for these words and try to figure out how to make the language you use more concise for your readers.