The Tutoring Center, Lake Forest CA

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07/17/2015
Use of a thesaurus is often discouraged, because the wrong hands will abuse and misuse this valuable resource. Writers who treat synonyms as mathematical equations, blindly interchanging one synonym for another, will have awkward, imprecise, ugly writing. Correct handling of a thesaurus, however, will enrich your vocabulary and improve your composition. Here are some tips for using a thesaurus well.

Cross-Check Your Words

Most synonyms have nuanced meanings. You cannot simply take one and replace it with another. If you are unfamiliar or are unsure of the meaning of a word you find in a thesaurus, look it up. Look it up even if you think you know what it means. Perhaps it contains a refined meaning you did not know. Online thesauri make it very easy to find the definition of a word- just click on it.

Eliminate Intensifiers

By reading the definitions of synonyms, you can help eliminate words like "very," "extremely," "severely," "quite," and "rather". Instead of using these tired intensifiers, there is likely a synonym that fits precisely with your message. Instead of, "The woman was very pretty," for example, you could say, "The woman was radiant." Which sounds better to you?

Avoid Repetition

If you find yourself employing the same word over and again, use the thesaurus to find an alternative. Just be sure to always check the definition to make sure you do not use the wrong word. Need help to improve your writing? Contact The Tutoring Center in Lake Forest, CA. We offer one-to-one tutoring in writing, reading, math, and test preparation. Look over our academic programs and call us at 949-273-3534 to schedule a free diagnostic assessment.

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