skip to page contentskip to navigation menuWriting for University Courses - Use of Words
Advice Practice
Use of Words Menu | Main Menu | Help | Contents List | Definitions | Print Guide

Development Level menu

Warning about spellcheckers

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

Finding the best words

Being concise

Development Level Checklist

Show Starter Level menu

Development Level Advice

The effect your words create

Your choice of words creates an impression.

Look at the following examples. In each pair, the statements have similar meanings, but the words create very different impressions.


To start the car depress the clutch and engage it slowly.
To start the car press the left hand foot pedal as far as it will go and then let it up again slowly.

The soldiers killed civilians.
The soldiers killed defenceless and vulnerable ordinary men, women and children.

In post-modernism a predominant discourse is that of non-absolutism.
Currently, people tend to see things as shades of grey, rather than as black and white.

© Learning & Teaching Institute, Sheffield Hallam University 2004