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50 Words to Avoid in Your Writings

words to avoid in your writings
May 10, 2016

Writing is a combination of two things; craft and art. Craft is a technique while art comes from lots of talking, writing, thinking, dreaming, and reading. Some of the techniques are complex, but a few of them are very simple and will enhance the strength of your writing. Strengthening writing in many cases means avoiding those things that weaken it.

Words that can weaken your writing include;

  1. Really: you should avoid this word in all your writings because if you need to enhance or emphasize something you can use one word. For example, instead of saying “really great idea”, you can say “a great idea” or “an excellent idea”.
  2. You: do not use this word if you are making general statements. Rather, use it when writing to the reader or about the reader.
  3. Feel: Most writers use this word to mean thinking or believing. It is also used to describe the emotions of a character. For example, “he felt despondent.” Instead, you can show the emotions of your characters through your character’s actions and emotions.
  4. Think: when you write your opinion, the reader understands that you are also thinking it. Therefore, go straight to the point and say what you are thinking.
  5. As:  It’s weak to use this word, and it can cause confusion. This is because a person cannot do two different actions simultaneously. Therefore, “as” doesn’t make any sense when used in the first sentence. Instead, you can use “because.”
  6. Like: If something is like another, then it is not the actual thing. When you use correct verbs and accurate descriptions, you will reduce the need to use the word “like.”
  7. Just: This word does not add any genuine value to a sentence. Therefore, leaving them out from your sentences will still retain the meanings and make your work more direct.
  8. A lot: How much does the word “a lot” describe? When you use this word, your sentences are meaningless if you do not have the context. However, if you have the context, then there will be no need to use it. A lot to a person may be seen as some by another.
  9. Sort of or kind of: These words do not tell the reader exactly what it is you are saying or implying. Therefore, use words that mean what you want to tell your reader.
  10. Used to: These words are used to describe past events, and it is redundant to use them. Instead, you can use the past tense verb of what you want to talk about.
  11. Sure: A person who is sure does not have any doubt.
  12. As for example: when you use as, it means that you will provide an example, so refrain from using for example.
  13. Ask a question: ask means to pose a question, therefore, a question is used redundantly.
  14. Filled to capacity: When something is filled, it has reached some capacity. Therefore, it is redundant to include the word capacity.
  15. Came at a time when: When is used to provide the temporal reference of the action coming. Therefore, at a time is used repetitively.
  16. Close proximity:  proximity is a word that is used to describe the nearness to a specific location. Therefore, avoid using such a word to the term close.
  17. During the course of: During is used to mean throughout a duration. Therefore, using during the course is repetition.
  18. Definite decision:  The word decision does not mean that it is final, however, when it is done, it is unequivocal meaning it is definite. Therefore, it does not make sense to say definite decision.
  19. Difficult dilemma: A dilemma is something that is complicated. Therefore, you cannot use the word difficult as its modifier.
  20. Direct confrontation: A confrontation is a conflict that is head-on. Therefore, using direct in such a case is redundant.
  21. End result: A result always occurs at the end. Therefore, you cannot use both words at the same time.
  22. Enter in: To enter somewhere is to go inside. So do not use both of them.
  23. False pretense: Pretense is being deceptive. Therefore, false is used redundantly.
  24. Few in numbers: The word few means a smaller number. So, the word numbers cannot be used as a modifier.
  25. Final outcome: The word outcome refers to the result meaning it is final.
  26. First began: The beginning of something is the first occurrence. This means that new and first are superfluous.
  27. For a period of days: The word days is in its plural form, and it is redundant to use it with the word days. However, you can specify the days.
  28. Foreign imports: Imports are goods that originate from another country. Therefore, they are foreign in nature.
  29. Forever and ever: Ever is a repetition of the word forever.
  30. Free gift: A gift is given free of charge.
  31. Invited guests: Guests are people who have been invited.
  32. Major breakthrough: A breakthrough is something that signifies progress. Although the word major is not directly repetitive, you will note the relationship between the two.
  33. Added bonus: A bonus is added.
  34. Past history: History is defined as recorded past occurrences. Therefore, past is redundant.
  35. Plan ahead: Planning is done for the future. Ahead is therefore, extraneous.
  36. Possibly might: The word might is synonymous to probability.
  37. Postpone until later: Postponing means delaying the action for later. Therefore, later is superfluous and should not be used together in one sentence.
  38. Protest against: To protest is to do the opposite or to disagree against something. Thus, against is repetitive.
  39. Revert back: reverting something means taking it back to an earlier state. Therefore, back is used extraneously.
  40. Repeat again: To repeat is to recap an act. Therefore again is unnecessary.
  41. Same identical: Same and identical have the same meaning.
  42. Since the time when: Since is used to indicate a period in the past. You cannot use both words together.
  43. Written down: Something that has been written has been taken down.
  44. Unintended mistake: Mistakes are not intended actions.
  45. Still remains: A remaining thing doesn’t change position. Therefore, still is redundantly used.
  46. Unexpected surprise: A surprise is not something that is expected.
  47. Usual Custom: A custom is something that is done in a similar way. This means usual is repetitive.
  48. Therapeutic treatment: Treatment in nature is therapeutic. Therefore, the adjective treatment is redundant.
  49. Suddenly exploded: An explosion happens suddenly or instantly and it cannot happen suddenly than it has.
  50. Spell out in detail: To spell out means to provide all the details. Therefore in detail is a repetition of spell.
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