Write Wisely: Word Choice and Impact
Careful word choice is central to top-notch writing.
Careful word choice can transform a mediocre writer into a better one or make a dull subject seem engaging. Word choice is an important part of any type of writing–especially content writing. Selecting precise words will help you increase the impact you create on your audience.
Create a Sensory Experience
The best writing creates a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. Well-selected words appeal to the senses. As you write, pick words that describe the sight, sound, touch, taste, or smell of your subject. Even with nonfiction, you want to tell a story and evoke a mood. By appealing to one or more of your reader’s senses, you create a compelling message. Information delivered with descriptive words is more memorable, leaving a lasting impression on the reader.
Master the Parts of Speech
Verbs reveal action. By using vibrant verbs, you’ll help readers visualize information more quickly and easily, increasing your chances of making a memorable impression. To create a more interesting article or blog post, use action verbs. For example, the statement “The business grew quickly” is fine. However, “The business exploded” provides better imagery. Another possibility? “The business leaped over its competition in the span of a few months.”
Using adjectives sparingly will also help you improve your writing. 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. For example, instead of using the word car, instead use sedan, truck, van, or pick-up. Instead of using the word marketing, qualify your subject as email marketing, inbound marketing, or video marketing. Descriptive language adds details to a topic and enhances a reader’s understanding.
Employ a Thesaurus
A thesaurus can be a writer’s best friend. After writing the first draft of an article, use the thesaurus to find synonyms that are more dynamic than the words you’ve chosen; you’ll uncover a world of words you may never have considered! Be cautious, however: Before using a synonym, make sure you’re absolutely certain you know the actual definition of the substitute word. Using unfamiliar synonyms can actually weaken your writing, making you sound less authoritative.
In short, always choose your words wisely. You’ll remind readers of the value of the information you’re presenting–and you’ll do so in a stylistically compelling way!
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Photo Credit: Jason Eppink