Concise Writing Takes Practice (Korbel MA Students)

By Arianna Carlson, B.A. International Studies student and Jamie Polliard, OCPD Internship Program & Office Manager

Concision is key. Whether you are writing an email, drafting a script, or preparing a briefing, being able to communicate clearly and concisely is critical in any international affairs career. While there may be a false notion that concession is easier, it takes practice to coherently express complex points succinctly.

Reading sprawling sentences can feel overwhelming, confusing, and boring! Whether you’re sending a text message, writing an email, updating your resume or writing a brief, wordy writing dilutes the impact of your message. Concise writing helps grab and hold your reader’s attention. But brevity doesn’t come naturally to everyone – concise writing takes effort. Here are some great resources we have found to help strengthen your concise writing skills:

The DU Writing Center offers wonderful resources and one-on-one appointments to help you improve your writing.

Train Your Brain to Write More Concisely

Believe it or not, you can train your brain to write more concisely. This article outlines activities you can use to become a stronger writer and get your point across more succinctly.

The Writing Center at UNC Chapel Hill

This UNC blog offers recommendations to help a writer eliminate unnecessary words. While eliminating wordiness may seem like a given, using this resource as an additional tool while revising your own work may bring attention to new ways to strengthen your writing.

7 Tips for Clear and Concise Writing

MasterClass offers a variety of online learning tools, including useful tools to improve your writing. These 7 tips will help you find new ways to be intentional in your writing and engage your audience through your work. (Free articles, fee for videos)

Purdue OWL

Purdue OWL offers this resource to help anyone looking to make their writing more effective and concise. From finding the strongest words to merging sentences, this site will help you strengthen your writing skills.


Grammarly flags potential issues in the text and makes context-specific suggestions to help with grammar, spelling and usage, wordiness, style, punctuation, and even plagiarism. Install Grammarly for iOS or Android to ensure everything you write on mobile is mistake-free. (Free, premium edition available for a monthly fee.)

The OCPD Career Advisors are always available to help you review resumes, cover letters, or fellowship applications. Appointments can be scheduled on PCO or email us at

By Jamie Polliard
Jamie Polliard Internship Program & Office Manager