Sticking to a given word count limit is difficult for everyone while writing a research article. This includes native English speakers, who usually have so much to say but have to remember to keep it short. This is also especially true for English-second language authors, who find it quite difficult to write concisely because they cannot find the correct words to substitute long phrases.
When preparing the first draft of your manuscript, it’s best to keep the journal requirements in mind and try to write as concisely as possible. After you’ve written your first draft, you can look through your manuscript critically to find text that can be made more concise and sentences that can be shortened.
Without further ado, here are 10 useful tips that you can easily use to keep your manuscript concise:
1. Use citations
Look out for sentences that start with “there is a previous study on,” “it has been reported that,” or similar phrases. Such sentences should be accompanied by reference citations, which make the above phrases redundant. These phrases can be deleted, leaving only the citation.
Original: It has been reported that the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease increases with age (Rogue et al., 2004). (17 words)
It has been reported that tThe incidence of Alzheimer’s disease increases with age (Rogue et al., 2004). (12 words)
2. Make better use of parentheses
Sentences that have product names in them can be shortened by shifting the product name within parentheses.