The power of synonyms: the good, the bad, and the in-between

Man sitting at a desk with his laptop and his notebook beside him.

When it comes to writing, every word has an impact and brings meaning along with it. In our assignments, our job is to take these different meanings and weave them together to be clear, engaging, and provide information to our audiences. Yet, when we get stumped or feel like our work is getting too repetitive, we turn to Google or Microsoft Word to help find synonyms. Sometimes this can work wonders, but other times it can have negative repercussions.

Tips and tricks on how-to write a professional email

Man typing on his laptop.

Ever email your professor or employer and click the send button, only to realize seconds later it was littered with typos and grammar mistakes?

The art of professional email writing can be challenging if you’re not too sure where to start. Learning the dos and don’ts of what to include will not only steer you in the right direction but help you develop your professional persona. Having a professional voice in writing and in speech is important because it establishes how you want to be perceived. There are so many ways you can let your professional side shine, and emails are one of them.

Thesaurus abuse: or a gross misappropriation of lexicon

a crazed man hacking through a door with an axe to attack a cartoon thesaurus

A thesaurus groups together words that are similar in meaning. It exists for those tip-of-the-tongue moments when the right word seems just out of reach: “Gah! I need another word for something that’s pretentious … to be pretentious, to put on airs … Ah! An affectation!”

How to get over writer’s block

Red brick wall

Writer’s block – it happens to everyone. It’s probably the hardest thing to overcome for any writer. In an effort to help others with this situation, I have compiled a list of strategies that I use when I’m having a hard time thinking of what to write.  

Write

How to take effective lecture notes

lecture room of university students sitting

While looking out at a first-year university lecture, you may encounter dimly lit faces of hundreds of students typing madly on their laptops, eager to preserve every word uttered by their professor. Now, if you were to walk over to an upper year university course, you may be met by less frantic typing or students who have taken to pencil and paper notes. Over the course of my undergrad, my note taking skills have evolved, and I have learned a few things along the way. Here I will discuss the different methods to take notes during lecture.

My top three writing distractions and how I deal with them

girl studying with laptop and notebook

One of my biggest challenges while writing is to do just that. In a society where we move on from one idea to the next rapidly, such as ten-second snapchat stories or brief tweets about our day, it is easy to lose focus on a task. Although there are a variety of things that can distract me from my work, I have narrowed it down to the top three and how I have dealt with them to increase productivity.

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