Five Quick ways to trim Your writing

by John Clayton

Word comes back from your boss on the report you labored over for weeks: “This is good, but it needs to be a lot shorter.” You throw up your hands in frustration. She doesn’t tell you what to cut or how. Your report brings together all the information the committee needs to make a decision on the project. Every section furthers the argument, you say to yourself; there’s nothing extraneous in it.

Similar challenges crop up in many business settings: Say you need to trim a product description to 200 words, squeeze a presentation handout onto one side of one page, or cut the executive summary of a complex, detailed report in half. Here are fve tips for losing length without losing meaning.

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