Unformatted text preview: Using Appropriate Diction
(Using Correct Vocabulary) Why is Diction Important? to communicate your ideas clearly
especially at a higher (academic) level to show your knowledge of a higher level of vocabulary and how to use it in different contexts Example of Appropriate Diction
Situation: A driver is rushing to a doctor's appointment and runs a red light. How would this driver explain his/her "error"...
To a friend: "I screwed up." To a child: "I made a mistake." To the police: "I ran the light by accident." To an employer: "It was an oversight." Explanation
All of these expressions communicate the same message; however, a police officer or employer would consider "a screw-up" to be an insult, while your friends at a hockey game would take "oversight" as being too polite. Do's and Don'ts When Writing Academic English
1. Think about your audience and use language that is appropriate. More Do's and Don'ts
2. Use specific not general vocabulary Be careful with words that may have multiple meanings. Example: "Parents should give their children a comfortable environment to live in" would be better written as "Parents should provide their children with a secure environment to live in." More Do's and Don'ts
3. Be as specific as you can. Do not write "There are many things that contribute to the increasing drop-out rate in the first year of university." Words that could replace "thing" in this sentence? Reasons Aspects
NOTE: Consider the context in which you are writing. More Do's and Don'ts
4. Be clear and concise Use words that are as descriptive as possible. You will get your meaning across better and use fewer words. The fewer words you use, the more likely you will maintain your reader's attention. "Living in downtown Toronto is very colorful because..." would be better written as "Living in downtown Toronto is fascinating because..." More Do's and Don'ts
5. Use words correctly/appropriately
If you are not sure of a word, look it up in an EnglishEnglish dictionary. A thesaurus (containing synonyms and antonyms) can also help. However, if you choose a synonym, you need to also look up the word in a dictionary.(Just because a word is a synonym for another does not mean the words are interchangeable.) More Do's and Don'ts
6. Use descriptive adjectives The words "big", "huge", and "gigantic" all mean the same thing; however, gigantic is a better choice if you are describing a... More Do's and Don'ts
7. Avoid informal and overused words a little bit a lot actually and so on bad good etc. interesting just kind of a little nice thing too To sum up
1. Think about your audience and use language that is appropriate 2. Use specific not general nouns 3. Be as specific as you can 4. Be clear and concise 5. Use words correctly 6. Use descriptive adjectives 7. Avoid informal and overused words ...
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This note was uploaded on 06/22/2011 for the course ESL 4 taught by Professor Rita during the Spring '11 term at Fanshawe.
- Spring '11