Fillers

Having overly wordy sentences is a common issue for many writers. Wordiness can be problematic, as having too many words in your writing could distract your readers from understanding the main idea it is supposed to convey.

Below is an example of an overly wordy line that uses too many fillers, followed by an example of how it could be made better:

Too wordy: So, let me just tell you about my friend Jeanne, who was really very late to our meeting, which made our group leader to, like, scold her off.

Better: My friend Jeanne was tardy for our meeting, which made our group leader scold her.

The fillers in the above example are “so”, “just”, “really”, “very”, “like”, and “off”. These words are considered fillers, because they do not add meaning to the sentences they are in. Even if these words are removed, the original meaning that the sentence conveys is still kept intact.

While it is unlikely for all the fillers listed above to surface in a single sentence, it is common for some of these filler words to pepper a student’ writing, especially if one is scrambling to think of what to write. It is useful to always proofread a piece of work after it has been completed, and to subsequently remove any filler words that may have been written into the first draft.