Sometimes sentences are unclear because they are ambiguous, and other times because they have too many words. Usually sentences will be clearer if they have fewer words. So as you edit and reread your work, try to take words out to make your writing clearer.

Here is an example of a sentence that could benefit from being edited down:

Developers have become more crucial to the success of mobile phones because they can enrich the devices by adding all kinds of functions like games and navigation services.

Effective Rewrite:

Independent software developers are increasingly important because users want to customize and add features to their mobile phones.


  • This doesn’t seem like a huge change – 28 words vs. 17. But that is 40% less! And we clarified the kind of ‘developer’ that we are writing about (independent). The main point is preserved, and the sentence is a lot clearer. Perhaps the next sentence describes the kinds of software that is popular. This rewrite avoids the confusion of the first sentence, that ‘they’ (meaning developers) add software to phones when really it is the phone’s user that does the adding.