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Overused and Tired Words

A Tip for Effective Writing

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When writing an essay, term paper, or report, you should always try to use words that convey your meaning vividly but accurately.

Can you just imagine your poor teacher at her desk reading "The book was interesting" a hundred times or more? That can't be good for creating a friendly grading environment!

Skillful writing is not easy; it is a tricky endeavor that involves a fine balance between extremes.

You shouldn't have too much fuss or too much dry fact in a term paper; either can be tiresome.

One way to develop more interesting writing is to avoid tired or overused words.

You may be surprised at the extent of your own vocabulary, and the fact that you don't use it for your own benefit. You probably know the meanings of many words, but you don't employ them in your speech or your writing.

Read over the following sentence, for example:

The book was very interesting.

Have you used that sentence in a book report? If so, you may want to explore other ways to convey the same message. For example:

  • The book covered fascinating information.
  • This work, which was actually one of Mark Twain's first endeavors, was captivating.

Never forget that your teacher reads many, many papers. Always strive to make your paper special and not boring!

It's a good idea to make your own paper stand out from the others with effective word use.

To exercise your vocabulary powers, read over the following sentences and try to think of alternate words for each tired word that appears in italics.

The Colocasia is a big plant with lots of leaves.
The author used funny expressions.
The book was supported by many sources.

 

Tired Words

 

Some words are specific enough, but they are so overused they are just plain boring. While it would be awkward to avoid these words all the time, you should take care to substitute more interesting words whenever appropriate.

Some tired and overused words:

amazing
awesome
awfully
bad
beautiful
big
finev
good
great
happy
interesting
look
nice
quite
really
said
so
very
well

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