Using Synonyms: Creating Literary Gems With Rich, Varied Word Usage

I have a confession to make: when writing any paper, I have a dedicated tab open on thesaurus.com to help me come up with ways that will help my ideas flow seamlessly together. Indeed, a good writer is supposed to come up with their own ways to creatively express themselves. However, I suffer from a common problem: word repetition.

Every author that has ever tried to string together a comprehensive text eventually runs into a problem; we sometimes tend to write in a way that more closely reflects how we speak, rather than in a way that creates an easily readable and enjoyable text. There’s an important difference to note here.

Whereas documents are (supposed to be) written in a style that entices the reader to keep going, spoken language is an entirely different beast. When speaking, it’s common to use certain phrases repetitively – in such situations, we have the advantage of inflection, body language, and facial expression to helps to emphasize our ideas more clearly.

Writing doesn’t have that advantage. The closest tools we have in English to an indication of sentiment are emojis and they are rarely appropriate in anything except the most informal settings.

To counterbalance this, a good writer tries to use varied words with more or less the same meaning in his or her texts. Searching for synonyms is important when writing anything. If you use too many of the same words or expressions, you can get into slight trouble.

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