Instead of relying on tired adjectives, use comparisons such as similes or metaphors. Figurative language provides comparison in a unique way. Avoid well-known cliches. Using common, tired phrases makes your writing appear unoriginal. You can also improve your writing through the use of nouns. The main part of any sentence is the subject. By choosing nouns that are precise, you'll immediately make an impression on the reader. Doing this will help you meet your word count requirement, but it can weaken your essay.
Effective word choice in writing means really thinking about each word that you use. It involves cutting out fluff and only using words that add to the meaning of your writing. Less is best. Otherwise, the fluff can start to detract from the meaning and quality of your work. It takes practice and thought.
This section comments on the crucial difference between repetition and redundancy of terms and works through an example of using key terms in a thesis statement.
Repetition vs. Repetition can be a good thing. Sometimes we have to use our key terms several times within a paper, especially in topic sentences. Sometimes there is simply no substitute for the key terms, and selecting a weaker term as a synonym can do more harm than good. Repeating key terms emphasizes important points and signals to the reader that the argument is still being supported.
This kind of repetition can give your paper cohesion and is done by conscious choice. In contrast, if you find yourself frustrated, tiredly repeating the same nouns, verbs, or adjectives, or making the same point over and over, you are probably being redundant. In this case, you are swimming aimlessly around the same points because you have not decided what your argument really is or because you are truly fatigued and clarity escapes you. Building clear thesis statements Writing clear sentences is important throughout your writing.
You can apply these ideas to other sentences in your papers. It is not always easy to condense several paragraphs or several pages into concise key terms that, when combined in one sentence, can effectively describe the argument. However, taking the time to find the right words offers writers a significant edge. Concise and appropriate terms will help both the writer and the reader keep track of what the essay will show and how it will show it.
Graders, in particular, like to see clearly stated thesis statements. For more on thesis statements in general, please refer to our handout. You work on it for several days, producing three versions of your thesis: Version 1: There are many important river and shore scenes in Huckleberry Finn.
Version 2: The contrasting river and shore scenes in Huckleberry Finn suggest a return to nature. On the other hand, she still does not know how this return to nature is crucial to your understanding of the novel. Finally, you come up with Version 3, which is a stronger thesis because it offers a sophisticated argument and the key terms used to make this argument are clear.
At least three key terms or concepts are evident: the contrast between river and shore scenes, a return to nature, and American democratic ideals. By itself, a key term is merely a topic—an element of the argument but not the argument itself.
Choose strong, specific verbs- Verbs are words that show action and are a necessary component for a well-developed sentence. A simple way to enhance word choice in writing is by choosing specific and interesting verbs — words that show not only the action, but how the action occurs. The more specific the adjective and adverbs, the more interesting and detailed the writing. Big could be replaced with huge, enormous, immense, spacious, or colossal. Using any of these words to replace the original adjectives will enhance the word choice, thereby enhancing the quality of writing.
View the Parts of Speech Page for more information about adjectives and adverbs Use language that is appropriate for the audience — When choosing specific words or phrases to include in an academic paper, it is crucial to be aware of the audience.
Can I think of specific examples from my sources that fall under the key term? It is not always easy to condense several paragraphs or several pages into concise key terms that, when combined in one sentence, can effectively describe the argument. Read your paper out loud and at… a… slow… pace. This kind of repetition can give your paper cohesion and is done by conscious choice. You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Instead of relying on these pronouns, they can easily be replaced with specific names or people.
When we are studying a writer's choice of words, the questions that are of interest are: does he use, in general, everyday words or unusual words? Careful word choice can transform a mediocre writer into a better one or make a dull subject seem engaging. However, using those same terms in an English paper covering the thematic ideas of Shakespeare would not be appropriate given the audience. Am I trying too hard to impress my reader? Does the synonym change the meaning of your writing? In short, always choose your words wisely.
New York: Three Rivers Press, The way you format a sentence can determine whether your writing has an active or passive voice.
On the other hand, she still does not know how this return to nature is crucial to your understanding of the novel.
Check out this example: Passive Voice: The African savannah is where lions live. Krizan, Patricia Merrier, Joyce P. To add variety, choose words you often use and explore other options for words that have the same meaning.
Similarly, when writing research papers, it is vital to choose words that pertain not only to the audience, but to also thoroughly explain those terms. Descriptive language adds details to a topic and enhances a reader's understanding. Under the present conditions of our society, marriage practices generally demonstrate a high degree of homogeneity. Doing this will help you meet your word count requirement, but it can weaken your essay.
The main part of any sentence is the subject. Active voice has the subject doing the action. New York: Pearson, Adapted from Business Communication, 8th ed. What are the key terms of my argument?