How to write clearly

6. Cut out excess nouns — verb forms are livelier

Cut out excess nouns — verb forms are livelier

One simple way to write more clearly is to change ...

One simple way to write more clearly is to change ...
this... ... to this:
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by the destruction of by destroying
forthe maximisation of for maximising
of the introduction of of introducing


By making this change, we are simply turning a noun back into a verb. Verbs are more direct and less ab­stract than nouns. Many nouns ending in ‘-ion’ are simply verbs in disguise. They often occur in phrases like those below, where verbs would be clearer:
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carry out an evaluation of evaluate
hold an investigation of investigate
give consideration to consider


There are other nouns that don’t end in ‘-ion’ but which are also verbs in disguise:

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conduct a review of eview
perform an assessment of assess
effect a renewal of renew


So we can make a document clearer by turning some nouns back into verbs:

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The practice of growing perennials instead of annual crops can bring about an improvement of soil guality by effecting an increase in soil cover. Growing perennials instead of annual crops can improve soil guality by increasing soil cover.


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