Year after year of writing assignments, you may notice that you are used to the same constructions and the same words slipping into your essay. It is hard to find expressions that may leave a trace in your teacher’s memory, and with stale words, you writing is bound to become dull. Fear not! Here are some of the most common words you could replace to make your essay shine.
Replace: To Say
The list of synonyms for this word is truly enormous. Concentrate on your setting. How was your statement pronounced? It could have been repeated, added, replied, spoken, told or even revealed. If you are talking about a politician, you may use instead such words as “declared”, “announced”, “proclaimed”. Were there any emotional connotations in the speaker’s voice? If yes, use these words to describe it: “whispered”, “exclaimed”, “sobbed”, “yelled”. Add a little bit more expression to your words and you will immediately feel how a dull statement becomes sharper.
Marking a clear cause and effect relation in your sentence with “because” is acceptable, but rather boring. There are other conjunctions you may use to state your reasons, such as “as”, “considering”, “on account of”, “due to”, “for” and “owing to the fact”. Switch up your sentence with these words, or even change the subordinate clause with the main, to reach an unexpected stylistic effect. Consider these two sentences:
Kids learn the names of the neighboring countries, because of the Eurovision contest.
Due to the Eurovision contest, kids learn the names of the neighboring countries,
Replace: To Think
Especially in those essays when you need to state your opinion, the phrase “I think” has already planted its roots deeply into our subconscious. It is time to eradicate it, whether by not using it at all, as it gives off an area of self-doubt, or by changing it up for better words. Try it with such gems as “assume”, “consider”, “determine”, “expect”, “feel”, “guess”, “believe”, “judge”, “realize”.
Replace: A Lot
Describing a considerable amount of something can be tough. Not only it is non-specific, but also sounds a little childish. Try to use such words as “myriad”, “tons”, “plethora”, “a bundle” or “an abundance”, especially if they fit your context and the style of your text. The English language is rich for words that are becoming extinct day by day, so it is up to you to help them to live and thrive.
A word that bores to tears even in everyday life, “good” is no good for your essay. With this word, you want to assess an object or a situation, so why not give it a more precise evaluation? As for the “good” weather, you could say “sunny”, “cloudless” or “bright”. If it is a work of art, it can be “excellent”, “moving”, “valuable” or “wonderful”. If you are talking about a place, ranging from a restaurant to a country it can be “expensive”, “worth visiting”, “notable”, “unique”. A specific quality of the object will not only describe your object, but give your essay the needed lift.