4 Ways To Avoid Using Filler Words In Your Writing

4 Ways To Avoid Using Filler Words In Your Writing

While most of know filler words based on speeches and using “um” or “uh”, but writing can also have a ton of filler words.

Filler words can distract from your main message and make your writing not look as serious as you think it does. Keep in mind, the type of writing you do and how casual it can be is dependent on what the context of what the writing is for.

Your academic essays will have a different type of writing than your Twitter posts, but you can still almost always cut out filler words.

In this article, we will be going over the basics of filler words, what they are, why they do not work, how to avoid them, and then finally dive into some examples of what some are.

What Are Filler Words?

Filler words are words in speech or written text that could be eliminated and are there to “fill” space.

Common filler words include: “um, uh, er, ah, like, okay, yeah, right, and you know.”

Writers will commonly use filler words in their writing when they either are unsure of what they are writing or need to stretch their writing to hit a certain number of words.

Sometimes, we do not even realize how often we are using filler words. Even as a writer for years, there are most likely some in this article! It can be a hard habit to break, especially after a lot of years of writing.

Some filler words make sense for your unique writing style, but often, you can edit writing down to make your writing stronger. It might be hard to figure out what is style and what is filler, but it is always a good idea to practice cutting fluff out of your sentences.

and-in-speech”>What Is The Difference Between Filler Words In Writing and In Speech?

For the most part, filler words are the same. However, it is more common to use filler words in casual or creative writing or in casual speech.

If you are creating a proposal or a formal presentation, you will want to make sure you focus on cutting out the filler words so it looks more professional and together.

A lot of the words are the same when it comes to which ones are filler words and which ones are not. However, in speech you will find other words such as um, uh, okay, so, and others.

Why Are Filler Words Bad?

Filler words are bad because it can not only confuse the reader but they can dilute your writing. If you have too many, people can think your writing is “fluffy” and not enjoy reading it.

If you are doing any kind of persuasive writing in particular, you do not want to have filler words or any kind of fluffy language because it can confuse the reader and bury your message. The use of interjectory words and phrases can make your writing a turn-off for people.

There is an argument for using filler words in things like creative writing, but for a lot of other types of writing, you need your writing to be direct.

You might also argue that some creative writers could benefit from learning how to shorten their sentences as well.

We most commonly use filler words in our verbal speak, but that can bleed over into writing as well.

Strong writing should be clear, concise, and direct.

Examples of Filler Words

If you are not sure what filler words are, let’s take a quick overview of some examples. However, keep in mind that every single one of these examples are dependent on the sentence itself and what is being said. This is especially true for dialogue between characters.

Just because it is on this list does not mean that it is necessarily a guaranteed filler word. One way to test if it is a filler word is if you can take the word out and the sentence still has the same meaning.

Filler words:

  • Really
  • Very
  • Highly
  • Just
  • Like
  • As you know
  • However
  • Finally
  • In conclusion
  • You know
  • You see
  • Right
  • In my opinion
  • I guess
  • I mean
  • Seriously
  • Literally
  • Totally
  • However
  • As mentioned

How To Avoid Filler Words

You want to avoid using filler words since they can take up space and make things unnecessarily wordy.

Let’s talk about how you can avoid using them in your writing and make your writing even better.

#1 – Get everything out of your brain

Before you worry too much about filler words, you will want to simply write as much as you can.

If you are writing and worrying too much about editing yourself in the process, it can dilute your own work because you are overthinking all of your writing.

Instead, you will want to write in a judgement-free kind of way so you can let the ideas, words, and sentences flow out. That way, you have something to edit and work with when it is time for you to get to the editing stage.

However, you cannot edit something that is not written, so be sure to prioritize the writing part first.

#2 – See if you can cut every sentence in half

While this suggestion will not always work, challenge yourself to see if you can cut every single sentence you wrote in half.

This is a good mental challenge to put yourself into to see how you can push things with your writing and what happens when you think of your work like this.

and-what-are-necessary-words”>#3 – Figure out what are filler words and what are necessary words

Some words like “in addition” or “however” can be transition words that are necessary in writing. Every sentence will depend on the sentence and what is happening in the writing to determine whether they are filler words or not.

You can scroll through the list above to see some example of some filler words and then go through your writing to see how many you use in your own writing.

#4 – Use an editing tool

If you need even more help, you could use something like the Hemingway app to put your writing into and see what suggestions it has for how to cut down on your writing.

There are a lot of tools out there, but that one is a popular one for writers since it edits work based on how Ernest Hemingway used to write, which is short sentences.

Need More Writing Help?

If you need more writing hep, you do not want to miss out on our strong verbs list. Verbs matter a lot when it comes to writing, especially for storytelling. Picking strong ones can help give your writing that extra “punch” it deserves.

This will help you level up your writing and give you even more tools to stand out as a writer.

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