My check-list for trying to cut a text by 2/3:
1) Delete most occurrences of “I think.” It sounds weak and it’s obvious anyway that the text is from my point of view.
2) Delete modifiers used to make generalizations such as “sometimes,” “possibly,” etc.
3) In sentences with multiple possibilities, be decisive and delete all except one! This is a big one for me…
4) Delete flowery descriptions….sigh.
5) Delete detailed descriptions…sigh, that hurts.
6) Replace phrasal verbs with single words. A lot of phrasal verbs like “find out’ and “pick up” sound uneducated. The verb “to be” helps!
7) Delete unnecessary “such as” clauses. In a 500-word essay there is simply no space to give an example for every single idea.
8) Use demonstrative pronouns instead of repeating long key phrases.
9) Rejoice that I have a blog where I can use as many words as I want!