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Quality, Not Quantity Itís a lot of fun to look for biggest words we can find to replace with; but itís not productive. The goal is to find word that makes rest of sentence sound its best; this also means that you only want to replace words that make a sentence unclear. Itís never fun to read a document that is full of words that you donít understand or that you have to stop to regroup after each sentence. You also need to keep your audience in mind when choosing words.
Focus on Your Main Thoughts When youíre trying to decide which words to replace, itís usually good to start with your main points. Remember what you learned in your writing class: Each paragraph should have a main sentence with remaining sentences supporting it. Pick out your main sentences from each paragraph and make sure that they sound clear. From here, you should be able to pick out ones that need attention.
The Second Opinion Never underestimate power of a proofreader. They will always notice things that you donít because writers tend to focus primarily on topic theyíre writing about. My proofreader (which happens to be my lovely wife) constantly comes up with concerns that I never think about. Most importantly, she always points out words that donít make sense to her and usually has a suggestion for a replacement. In end, goal is for a document is for it to make sense to your reader; so after youíve used your other thesaurus tools, be sure that your final test comes from a reader, as well.
I find thesaurus to be one of greatest tools that we can use to put our documents over top. Perhaps its decline in popularity is mainly due to many of us not knowing how to use it properly. Maybe this article will help thesaurus to make a comeback. Well, at least now your documents can be ďnegated of imprecisionĒ.
Rafael Van Dyke is the site owner of BETTERDOCUMENTS.COM and the editor of its articles & newsletters. Go to http://www.betterdocuments.com to subscribe to newsletters and to download FREE DOCUMENT TEMPLATES.