PS Tip 77: Edit again – Highlight & remove any word that doesn’t add meaning

So you’re back in the swing of editing, it’s time to get seriously ruthless.

Read each sentence again in isolation, but this time you’re not looking for mistakes – you’re looking for any words that can be removed from each sentence without changing the meaning. Sound familiar? That’s because you’ve already done your best to keep unnecessary words to a minimum during the writing process.

Simple read through your personal statement – one sentence at a time – and highlight any words that can be removed without changing the meaning. Once that’s done, remove the words and go through the process a second time.

Please don’t think that I’m being patronising here, or that I’m recommending anything that I don’t do myself. No matter how well you wrote your statement first time around, there will be unnecessary words. It’s inevitable, and you’re not alone – it happens to everybody, and that’s why we edit.

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