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Wordiness: Using more words than is necessary

Good writing is succinct and to the point. Many students use too many words and phrases in an effort to make their writing “sound academic.” They may also repeat words and phrases or use more than one word that means the same thing.


  • “at this point in time” - now
  • “due to the fact that” - because
  • Incorrect: When communicating in the written form, a writer should always ensure that the meaning of what she is trying to say comes through clearly.
  • Correct: A writer should try to be clear.


Try to use as few words as possible to make your point, but make sure your meaning is still clear.

Word redundancy: 

Unnecessarily repeating words or phrases; using words that mean the same thing

  • “the findings are exactly the same” - if something is the same, then it is “exactly the same” and there is no need to use both words
  • “the tall skyscraper enhanced the skyline” - skyscrapers are always tall


After you have used a term once (with its acronym in parentheses), you can then use its abbreviation for subsequent references.

e.g. The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an organization that invests in facilities and equipment in Canada's research institutions. CFI was created in 1997.


Use an acronym to reduce the repetition of long names. The first mention of a name should be followed by the acronym in parentheses. Subsequent references can use the acronym only.