Have you ever written an essay and found that you kept repeating the same word over and over again? If you have, you don’t have to settle for the boredom of repetitive writing. Instead, you can break out the thesaurus and find new words to add to your vocabulary!
The thesaurus is a reference tool that offers synonyms for words. It helps to eliminate repetition, which can detract from the quality and readability of your writing. Many word processing programs provide a limited version of the thesaurus as part of the software. If you hold the computer-mouse over a word you wish to substitute, then right-click, a drop-box appears that gives the option of “synonyms.” You can “hover” the mouse over this option and it provides a selection of words you can use instead of the repetitive word. If, for some reason, there are no options in your word processing program, or you prefer to use a book, the book-form of thesaurus is available for purchase from bookstores, and is also in the reference section of your local library.
You may be asking yourself, “How can a thesaurus improve my writing?” Consider these examples and you can see the potential benefits.
The crab population is lower than last year. It seems that the numbers of crabs that are breeding are less, so there are less offspring being born. This lessening of the population may be due to overfishing, climate changes, and contaminants in the water, or other, as of yet unknown causes.
The crab population has decreased from last year. It seems that fewer numbers of animals are reaching sexual maturity, which may be a result of overfishing, climate change, and/or contaminants in the water. It is also possible that an as of yet unknown cause may be affecting the crab population.
The above examples demonstrate the difference in quality of writing, when one eliminates repetition. The concepts are identical, but the second example seems to be written on a much higher level than the first.
You can achieve similar results if you expand your vocabulary through the use of a thesaurus! Your writing will suddenly seem to be much stronger; will read better; and will better reflect your true writing potential. So don’t fear the thesaurus; use it as the wonderful writing tool it is!