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The effect your words create
  The choices you can make
  Things to avoid

Finding the best words

Being concise

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Development Level Advice

The effect your words create - Things to avoid

Avoiding piling-up words

Written work can be hard to read if words are 'piled up' e.g.: a string of one sort of word; having a phrase with many words as the subject or object of a sentence.

Example
*The cold, grey, misty, damp, unwelcoming morning affected them all.
Alternative wording.
The morning was cold and grey, with a damp mist. Its unwelcoming nature affected them all.

In the following, the underlined words are the subject of the sentence. There are so many words that by the time you reach the main verb (leads) you are confused.
*In other cases, the inability to meet the requirements of one or both of the roles leads to the person's having both roles taken away.
Alternative wording. The underlined words are the subject of the sentence.
In other cases, a person may not be able to meet the requirements of one or both roles and may have both taken away.

Avoiding over-repetition of words
You need to avoid using one word over and over again. You can do this either by:
  • rewording your sentence
  • or finding other words with a similar meaning (a thesaurus or dictionary can help).

See the Starter Level of this topic for guidance about Using words correctly.

Example
*The help the handout provides will help students to improve their skills.

Alternative wording.
The guidance in the handout will help students to improve their skills.

© Learning & Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University 2004