In our last blog article, we examined the most common grammatical errors made by Outwrite users over the past twelve months. This time, we decided to look at a different type of improvement—eloquence.

Our eloquence suggestions aim to make your writing clear and compelling. They generally involve stylistic and structural modifications, such as removing unnecessary words, or rephrasing sentences to make them more concise.

Let's take a look at the most common ones for 2020:

1. Vocabulary

At the top of the list, we have weak words. Vocabulary improvements made up 36% of Outwrite's eloquence suggestions over the last twelve months.

Using stronger words, and a variety of them, can have a significant impact on your writing. It makes your work more interesting to read, and can also make you appear more intelligent and professional.

"Good" was the most common weak word detected by Outwrite, followed by "see", and "great". Fortunately, these words can be replaced with numerous, more powerful synonyms. Here's a few to get you started:

beneficial, excellent, exceptional (instead of good)
examine, observe, inspect (instead of see)
considerable, immense, tremendous (instead of great)

Of course, you should never use a synonym without understanding what it means, and whether it fits the context of your sentence. Using a long, fancy word won't make you look smarter if you use it incorrectly. You should also consider whether the synonym would be appropriate for your audience. For example, while "automobile" may sound sophisticated, "car" will be the more suitable option in most circumstances. You can learn more about how to make weak words stronger here.

2. Efficiency

Ever heard of the saying "Less is more"? A third of Outwrite's eloquence suggestions related to wordy or complex phrases that could be made more concise.

One of the main ways to achieve this is by removing the word "that" from your writing. While there are several instances where "that" should be included in a sentence (either for grammatical or stylistic reasons), you can generally omit it when it follows a verb that means "to say". For example:

They announced that they were getting married.

Outwrite also detected the frequent use of phrases like "in order to" and "which is". Removing or replacing these phrases is an easy way to decrease your word count. For instance, you can sometimes replace "in order to" with "so that" or just "to".

Another common efficiency suggestion related to redundant adjectives, like "closed fist" or "burning fire". You should avoid using too many adjectives generally, as it can make your writing more difficult to read.

3. Phrasing

Last, but not least, we have phrasing simplification on 23%. This type of suggestion is similar to Efficiency, but focuses on making your writing easier to understand. This feature is particularly useful for anyone trying to increase the readability of their writing.

One of the best ways to simplify your writing is by removing or replacing certain words or phrases. Some of the most unnecessary phrases identified by Outwrite include "such as", "because of", and "a lot of".

Outwrite also suggested ways to rephrase sentences to say the same thing in a simpler way. For example:

"It was an unusual thing to do" -> "This was unusual".

We've recently introduced an AI-powered paraphrasing tool that can help you reword entire sentences. Apart from making your writing simpler and shorter, it can also find ways to restructure your sentences to make them more compelling.

Write with eloquence now

Hopefully this article has provided a few tips to help you write better, right away. If you'd like to see how Outwrite's eloquence suggestions can improve your writing automatically, you can start your free trial of Pro here.

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