use synonym in essay

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What are Synonyms and How Do You Use Synonyms in Academic Writing 

A guide to the correct use of synonyms in writing

Learning how to use synonyms in academic writing can aid in structuring your text and ensuring that it doesn’t sound monotonous. Here’s a guide telling you all about synonyms in detail.  

What are synonyms and why are synonyms important?

A synonym is one of two or more words of the same language that have the same or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses. 1

In other words, synonyms in academic writing are words that have a similar meaning, for example, small–little, big–huge, beautiful–pretty, alter–change, difficult–challenging, etc. 

If you ask what are synonyms meant to do, synonyms are essential for making our writing interesting and engaging, which are both important for effective communication and connecting with the audience. Learning how to use synonyms in writing ensures that text doesn’t become repetitive, which can improve overall flow and keep readers hooked. 

Although synonyms have similar meanings, the words we choose to include should be appropriate to the context and the tone of the document. In academic writing, the overall tone is formal, so formal alternatives should be used . 

Consider the following example: The researchers conducted big research vs The researchers conducted important research. Here, big and important are synonyms; however, their meanings aren’t the same, so they cannot be used interchangeably in all contexts.Therefore, when using synonyms in writing , we must choose the best alternative from among the available options. This is especially important because an incorrect word may alter the meaning or tone of the sentence, leading to ambiguity. 

How can synonyms in writing improve your research? 2

Using synonyms in writing has several benefits. Once you learn how to use synonyms, it can help structure your text and ensure that it doesn’t sound monotonous. While writing, you may want to quote information from other sources. In such cases, it is not advisable to use the exact words as in the source because that would amount to plagiarism. To avoid this problem, the sentence to be quoted could be paraphrased using appropriate synonyms. This can help make the sentence your own, thus avoiding the plagiarism issue. The use of correct synonyms can also help polish your writing and make it an engaging read. 

Here are a few aspects to consider when figuring out how to use synonyms correctly: 3

  • Connotation: Refers to the intended meaning of the text—positive, negative, or neutral?
  • Writing/language style: US/UK? Academic or nonacademic? Formal/informal?
  • Audience: Researchers/business professionals/students?
  • Purpose: Education/advertising/research information?

Problems with the incorrect use of synonyms in writing 4

The incorrect use of synonyms or the use of contextually incorrect synonyms in writing can be misleading and may make the entire effort counterproductive. Listed below are some common issues one faces while using synonyms in writing.

  • Overuse: Excessive use of the same word or many synonyms within a paragraph may make the text repetitive or difficult to read. Sometimes, using simple language is the best solution.
  • Incorrect meanings: Picking the wrong synonym can alter the meaning of the sentence or make for a clumsy read.
  • Technical or coined terms shouldn’t be replaced with synonyms. In academic writing, technical terms may need to be repeated at regular intervals. This is fine because such words cannot be replaced with synonyms.

use synonym in essay

Online sources to search for synonyms

Listed below are few online sources you could consult for good, context-appropriate synonyms:

  • Merriam-Webster Thesaurus : A thesaurus differs from a dictionary in that in addition to the meaning of a word, it also provides several synonyms that could be used in diverse contexts.

use synonym in essay

In this screenshot from Merriam-Webster’s thesaurus search for the word “group,” in addition to one meaning, several synonyms have also been listed. Each listed synonym cannot be used to replace any other word. For instance, to change the following sentence, “ The students were divided into two groups, ” one option would be to replace “groups” with “batches” (from the listed words). However, in this sentence, replacing “groups” with “band” or “array” or “assemblage” is completely incorrect contextually. Thus, you would need to use your discretion to select the most appropriate synonym from among the choices given.

  • Collins Dictionary

use synonym in essay

This dictionary also provides the meaning of the word and lists the synonyms. A helpful feature of the synonyms list is that the language style (US or UK English) and formal/informal tone is also given.


use synonym in essay

This handy website lists several synonyms that are color-coded in terms of relevance, with the darkest shade being the most relevant.

  • The Free Dictionary Thesaurus

use synonym in essay

This website creates a diagram for the searched word and indicates synonyms by green circles and antonyms by red squares.


use synonym in essay

This online resource offers different forms of the word “group,” which are presented along with their synonyms.

6.  Visual Thesaurus

use synonym in essay

This website also creates a word map for the referenced word and has color-coded to indicate the different word forms.

To conclude, while writing, look out for repetitive common words that can be replaced with one or more synonyms to create reader-friendly text. If you’re using a synonym in writing and want to check context appropriateness, consult one of the sources mentioned in this article above.

  • Merriam-Webster. Accessed September 5, 2022.
  • Pubrica Academy. Use synonyms in scientific manuscripts to improve quality. Accessed September 4, 2022.
  • Literary Terms website. When and how to use synonyms. Accessed September 6, 2022.
  • Tan E. The power of synonyms: the good, the bad, and the in-between. Writing and Communication Centre. University of Waterloo website. Accessed September 5, 2022.

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  • Synonyms and Other Writing Techniques

Use Synonyms and Other Writing Techniques to Improve Your Writing

Have you ever received feedback on an essay or writing assignment saying that you have repeated words, phrases or ideas too many times? If your writing is repetitive, it can slow down a reader, make your writing sound boring or even indicate that you do not have enough knowledge about a topic. In this post, we will be investigating some writing techniques to help reduce repetition. Repeated words, phrases or ideas can often decrease your chances of scoring well on an essay or other piece of writing, but with the help of synonyms and other writing techniques, you will be able to improve your writing.

1: Use Synonyms (in the Right Context)

2: rephrase an important idea, 3: reorder sentences, 4: use pronouns, more help and techniques to improve your english essay writing.

Watch our video below to see an in-depth explanation of writing techniques you can use to avoid repeated words, phrases and ideas. Then take our interactive synonyms quiz for free here .

When looking for ways to reduce repeated words and ideas in your writing, the first writing technique to start with is to use synonyms. Not only will this help to expand your vocabulary, but it will also allow you to communicate your ideas more effectively and as a result, engage your reader better. 

However, it is not as simple as just using a thesaurus or looking up synonyms for particular words on the internet. When choosing the right synonyms, there are a few factors you should consider:

Factors to Consider When Choosing Synonyms: Purpose, Audience, Meaning

When considering the purpose of our writing, we must think about what genre we are writing. For example, is it a persuasive text or opinion essay, a blog post, or a letter? Is it formal or informal writing? Considering the genre will help you choose appropriate synonyms and vocabulary. 

This is also closely related to the audience, or your reader. Who is the piece of writing for? Are you trying to impress a high stakes test assessor? Or a university professor or teacher? Perhaps you are writing an email to a peer or an announcement to the general public. Whoever your reader is, you must keep them in mind when it comes to your synonyms and word choice. 

Finally, we should consider the meaning of synonyms in context. Synonyms for a particular word will have slightly different meanings for different situations. If we do not precisely choose the correct synonym, it could make the writing sound less clear and awkward. When selecting a synonym, try the word in the context and ask yourself – does it make sense?

Read this sentence:

Technology is a beneficial tool for staying connected to family and friends who live abroad.

Here is a list of synonyms for the word ‘beneficial’: advantageous, helpful, valuable, favourable, profitable, good, desirable If we use the word ‘profitable’ in the sentence, we can check if it suits the context of what is being said:

Technology is a profitable tool for staying connected to family and friends who live abroad.

This sentence sounds awkward as ‘profitable’ is not a precise or accurate word choice for the context of this sentence. Profitable means to make financial gain which doesn’t make sense for what is being said. 

Instead, let’s consider using the synonym ‘valuable’:

Technology is a valuable tool for staying connected to family and friends who live abroad.

This is a much more appropriate word choice as valuable means something that is special or has a lot of worth, which fits the context of the topic well. It is also a better choice than ‘good’ or ‘helpful’ if we are trying to write a more formal essay for a reader who’s marking our work. 

To work on the writing technique of using the right synonyms in the right context, you can access our Free E2 English Quiz . 

We know that repetition leads to boring writing, which can often result in a low scoring assignment or essay. However, repetition actually has an essential place in our writing. In many essays, we will need to repeat our thesis statement or opinion over and over again, to convince our reader of something or highlight a main idea. Learning how to rephrase an idea that needs to be replicated throughout a text is a highly important writing technique, especially for particular essay types, like opinion essays or persuasive texts. 

If you’re writing a persuasive text or opinion essay or any type of writing where you need to repeat an idea or opinion, you will have some sort of thesis statement or sentence that states the main point in a text. 

Here is an example of a thesis statement:

It is evident that technology is making people less interactive.

This type of statement would need to appear at the beginning of your writing but also again throughout your body paragraphs and then finally, in the conclusion. Students often make the mistake of repeating the entire sentence, word for word, over and over again. 

Instead we can use the writing technique of rephrasing to come up with alternative versions of the sentence that still argues the same idea. We can build on the last technique of using synonyms. Rephrasing takes synonyms to the next level where we need to think about a group of words in a different way. One of the writing techniques to do this is to break up the sentence into phrases or groups of words and reword them. Look at the different phrases in the the thesis statement:

‘It is evident that’… ‘technology’… ‘is making people less interactive’.

Here are some alternative phrases for each part of our sentence. See how each phrase can be reimagined:

It is evident that…

  • It is obvious that…
  • It is clear that…
  • It is apparent that… 


  • IT (information technology)
  • technological inventions
  • the virtual world

…is making people less interactive

  • driving people to be less social
  • creating a society that is more socially isolated
  • disconnecting us from one another
  • affecting authentic human relationships and communication

Now it is possible to have different versions of our original thesis statement that are formed with the alternative phrases we came up with. Here are a few different variations of the thesis statement:

It is obvious that devices are driving people to be less social.  It is clear that IT is affecting authentic human relationships and communication.  It is apparent that technological inventions are creating a society that is more socially isolated. 

Using alternative phrases helps us reduce repetition but can also enrich the description in our writing as well. When we rephrase an important idea, it forces us to be creative and come up with varied ways to communicate an idea. 

Another form of repetition is when writers have a group of sentences that begin in the same way, one after the other. With this type of repetition, they not only use the same sentence structure, but also start their sentence with the exact same words. This is a common thing that teachers see in writing, which can be fixed with reordering and sentence variation, another excellent writing technique to practise. 

Below is an example of a paragraph that does this type of repetition. You can see a few sentences that begin in the same way. 

The overuse of our devices can create a sense of disconnection from the real world. Many people are often glued to their mobile phones while walking down the street or sitting at a cafe, instead of engaging in the physical world around them. Many people are beginning to prioritise their virtual interactions over in-person connections. This is causing our society to become more antisocial. Many individuals are socially isolating themselves by signalling they are not interested in real life conversations.

There are three sentences that start with either ‘Many people are…’ or ‘Many individuals are…’ which can cause the reader to become bored and irritated by the repetition, regardless of how great the ideas are. What writing techniques can we use to change this? 

The first sentence that begins with ‘Many people are’ is a complex sentence because it has a main clause and a subordinate clause. We can swap the order of these clauses around so it reads better:

Reorder Sentence: Swap Clauses of a Complex Sentence

Now the sentence does not start in the same way and instead begins with a dependent or subordinate clause. 

The next sentence is a simple sentence because it has one main or independent clause. We can insert a subordinate or dependent clause at the beginning, ‘Without realising,’ and change ‘many people’ to the pronoun ‘we’. Of course, we can’t forget to change the ‘their’ to ‘our’ so it makes sense.

Here is the improved version:

Reorder Sentence: Insert Subordinate Clause

It sounds much better! 

The final sentence that repeats is a complex sentence. We can swap the clauses around again to create variation. We can also omit, or take out, the word ‘many’ because it was already used earlier in the paragraph. Here is the reordered version:

Reorder Sentence: Swap Clauses of a Complex Sentence

Now read the new and improved paragraph aloud so you can hear how it is more interesting and dynamic to read:

The excessive use of our devices can create a sense of disconnection from the real world. Instead of engaging in the physical world around them, many people are often glued to their cellphones while walking down the street or sitting at a cafe. Without realising, we are beginning to prioritise our virtual interactions over in-person connections. This is causing our society to become more antisocial. By signalling they are not interested in real life conversations, individuals are socially isolating themselves.

As you can see, reordering sentences also builds on the writing technique of sentence variation. You need to know how to write simple, compound and complex sentences so that it is easier to swap clauses around or add clauses in, where necessary. By using this skill, not only are you decreasing repetitive sentence starters, but you’re also showcasing your skills in using a variety of grammatical structures. 

This last of the writing techniques is one of the simplest ways to avoid repetition. When we are writing, there will often be repeated words or key nouns that get duplicated throughout the text. The use of pronouns will make the sentences more concise and easier to read. In some high stakes English tests, this skill is also called referencing because you refer back to the idea without repeating the same word.

Here is a list of pronouns that can be used instead of nouns or the names of people or things. This list does not include all pronouns, it just showcases a few common ones: he, she, it, them, they, we, him, her, this, that, these, those…

When substituting pronouns for nouns, it is important to choose the right pronoun because an unclear pronoun will make your writing confusing. Have a look at the example below:

People should consider how much people use technology.

If we replaced the second ‘people’ in the sentence with the pronoun ‘we’, it would sound awkward:

People should consider how much we use technology.

The correct pronoun to use here is ‘they’.

People should consider how much they use technology.

Here is another example of repeated nouns:

Technology has both positive and negative consequences because technology can connect us to people far away while also distracting us from real life. To tackle the technology problem, we should consider having a limit on our screen time.

In the first sentence, the key noun ‘technology’ has been repeated twice. We can replace the second ‘technology’ with the pronoun ‘it’. The word ‘technology’ is used again in the beginning of the second sentence. We can change ‘the technology problem’ by using a pronoun so it instead reads as ‘this problem’. Here is the improved version:

Technology has both positive and negative consequences because it can connect us to people far away while also distracting us from real life. To tackle this problem, we should consider having a limit on our screen time.

It flows well now, doesn’t it?

Using pronouns is a simple and effective way to reduce unnecessary repetition in writing. However, you must remember to always double check that the pronouns agree with the original noun. You can do this by reading your writing aloud to make sure that it flows well. 

The more you regularly work on your writing, the more these writing techniques will become a part of your practice. A great place to start is our Free E2 English Quiz , which can help you to understand how to use synonyms in the right context.

As always, if you are looking for expert feedback, especially for a high stakes English exam, be sure to sign up to , where our experienced teachers and ex-examiners can help you to improve your writing! 

Need more help and techniques to improve your English essay writing? We have you covered! For help with general English essay writing, head to and sign up for FREE to access method lessons, practice items, live classes with expert teachers and more. In the Shop you will also find E2English, which is our full range of General English courses for whatever level you need. We have everything you need to help you quickly improve your language level and achieve success on your next high stakes essay or writing assignment.

You can also check out our Top Ten English Essay Writing Tips here to help you quickly improve your writing skills.

use synonym in essay

Author Bio: 

E2 is the world’s leading test preparation provider and General English course provider. Our expert teachers are fully accredited English teachers, with TESOL, British Council or other relevant certification, and years of English teaching experience. 

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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

use synonym in essay

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

If you’re interested in developing your language and persuasive skills, Oxford Royale offers summer courses at its Oxford Summer School , Cambridge Summer School , London Summer School , San Francisco Summer School and Yale Summer School . You can study courses to learn english , prepare for careers in law , medicine , business , engineering and leadership.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument. Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

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How To Use “Synonyms” In A Sentence: Proper Usage Tips

How To Use “Synonyms” In A Sentence: Proper Usage Tips

Using synonyms in a sentence can add depth and variety to your writing, allowing you to express ideas in different ways. By employing synonyms effectively, you can avoid repetitive language and create a more engaging and nuanced piece of writing.

So, how exactly should one use synonyms in a sentence? Let’s explore the proper way to incorporate these linguistic gems into your writing.

Before we dive into the specifics, it’s important to note that the key to using synonyms effectively is to choose words that maintain the intended meaning while offering a fresh perspective. By selecting synonyms that accurately convey your message, you can enhance the clarity and impact of your sentences.

Definition Of Synonyms

Synonyms are words or phrases that have similar or identical meanings to each other in a given context. They are a valuable tool in language and communication, allowing for variation and precision in expressing ideas. By understanding how to use synonyms effectively, writers can enhance the clarity and impact of their sentences.

Basic Definition Of “Synonyms”

At its core, a synonym is a word or phrase that can be substituted for another word or phrase in a sentence without changing its meaning. For example, “happy” and “joyful” are synonyms as they convey a similar positive emotion. Synonyms provide writers with flexibility in choosing words that best fit their intended tone, style, or emphasis.

Historical Evolution

The concept of synonyms has been present in language for centuries, although the term itself emerged in the 16th century. Throughout history, various cultures and languages have recognized the importance of synonyms in enriching vocabulary and expressing nuanced meanings. Ancient Greek and Latin, for instance, had extensive synonym lists to aid in writing and oratory.

Over time, the study of synonyms has evolved, with linguists and lexicographers compiling comprehensive thesauri and synonym dictionaries. These resources provide writers with an extensive range of synonyms to choose from, enabling them to refine their language and convey their ideas more precisely.

Different Meanings In Different Contexts

While synonyms generally share similar meanings, it’s important to note that their usage can vary depending on the context. Some synonyms may have specific connotations or associations that make them more suitable for certain situations.

For example, the words “tiny” and “minuscule” are synonyms, but “minuscule” often carries a stronger sense of extreme smallness compared to “tiny.” Similarly, “informal” and “casual” are synonyms, but “casual” may imply a more relaxed or laid-back tone compared to “informal.”

Understanding the subtle differences in meaning and connotation between synonyms allows writers to choose the most appropriate word for their intended message. It also helps to avoid repetition and adds variety to the language, making the writing more engaging and impactful.

How To Properly Use Synonyms In A Sentence

When it comes to using synonyms in a sentence, there are certain grammatical rules that should be followed to ensure clarity and precision in communication. Understanding these rules can help you effectively convey your thoughts and ideas while avoiding any confusion or ambiguity. Additionally, it is important to note that synonyms can take on different parts of speech, adding versatility to your sentence structure.

Grammatical Rules For Using Synonyms

1. Consistency in Sentence Structure: When using synonyms in a sentence, it is crucial to maintain consistency in terms of grammatical structure. This means that if you choose a synonym for a noun, it should be used in a similar manner as the original word. For example, if you use the noun “solution,” you can replace it with the synonym “resolution” without altering the sentence structure: “Finding a solution to the problem” can be rewritten as “Finding a resolution to the problem.”

2. Correct Verb Agreement: Synonyms that function as verbs must agree with their subjects in terms of tense and number. For instance, if you replace the verb “run” with its synonym “dash,” you need to ensure that the subject and verb agree: “She runs every morning” becomes “She dashes every morning.”

3. Appropriate Adjective Usage: When using synonyms for adjectives, it is important to consider the context and ensure that the chosen synonym accurately conveys the intended meaning. For example, if you replace the adjective “beautiful” with “gorgeous,” it should appropriately describe the noun it modifies: “The beautiful sunset” can be rewritten as “The gorgeous sunset.”

Parts Of Speech For Synonyms

Synonyms can take on different parts of speech, providing flexibility and variety in sentence construction. Here are a few examples:

Original Word Synonym Part of Speech
Lead Guide Noun or Verb
Quick Swift Adjective
Observe Witness Verb
End Conclude Verb

By understanding the different parts of speech a synonym can take, you can effectively choose the appropriate word to convey your desired meaning in a sentence.

Examples Of Using Synonyms In A Sentence

When it comes to incorporating synonyms into your writing, it is essential to strike a balance between simplicity and complexity. By utilizing a mix of both simple and complex sentences, you can effectively showcase the usage of synonyms in a sentence while maintaining clarity and readability.

Moreover, it is crucial to consider the various contexts and nuances that synonyms may possess. Words or phrases often have multiple meanings, and understanding how to highlight these distinctions can greatly enhance the richness and precision of your writing.

Here Are Some Examples Of How To Use Synonyms In A Sentence:

  • In the realm of education, the term “knowledgeable” can be used interchangeably with “well-informed.” For instance, “She is a knowledgeable/ well-informed professor who effortlessly imparts her wisdom to her students.”
  • When discussing environmental issues, the words “sustainable” and “eco-friendly” can be employed synonymously. Consider this example: “The company is committed to implementing sustainable/ eco-friendly practices to reduce its carbon footprint.”
  • In the context of literature, the synonyms “vivid” and “lively” can be utilized interchangeably. For example, “The author’s vivid/ lively descriptions painted a vibrant picture in the reader’s mind.”
  • Within the realm of technology, the terms “innovative” and “groundbreaking” can be used synonymously. As an illustration, “The company’s innovative/ groundbreaking product revolutionized the industry.”
  • When discussing personal attributes, the words “confident” and “self-assured” can be employed interchangeably. For instance, “She exudes a confident/ self-assured demeanor that commands respect.”

By incorporating synonyms into your writing, you not only add variety and depth to your sentences but also demonstrate a command of language and a nuanced understanding of word usage. Remember to choose synonyms that accurately convey your intended meaning and consider the different contexts in which they can be applied. With practice, you will master the art of using synonyms effectively, elevating the quality of your writing to new heights.

Edge Cases Or Things To Consider

When it comes to using synonyms in a sentence, it is essential to be aware of some common mistakes that people often make. By understanding these pitfalls, you can ensure that your writing remains clear, concise, and effective. Additionally, it is crucial to consider any cultural or regional differences that may impact the usage and understanding of synonyms. Let’s delve into these edge cases and explore how to navigate them with finesse.

Common Mistakes People Make When Using Synonyms

While synonyms can add variety and depth to your writing, using them incorrectly can lead to confusion or convey unintended meanings. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Overusing synonyms: It can be tempting to replace every instance of a word with its synonym to avoid repetition. However, excessive synonym usage can make your writing convoluted and difficult to follow. Instead, focus on using synonyms strategically to enhance your message.
  • Choosing inappropriate synonyms: Not all synonyms are created equal. It is crucial to select synonyms that accurately convey the intended meaning and fit the context of your sentence. Using a synonym that has a slightly different connotation or denotation can alter the message you want to convey.
  • Ignoring grammatical nuances: Synonyms may have different grammatical properties, such as being a noun or a verb. Failing to consider these nuances can result in grammatically incorrect sentences. Always ensure that the synonym you choose aligns with the grammatical structure of your sentence.
  • Forgetting about register and tone: Synonyms can vary in their formality, register, and tone. It is essential to consider the desired tone of your writing and choose synonyms accordingly. Using an overly formal synonym in an informal piece or vice versa can create a jarring effect.

By being mindful of these common mistakes, you can effectively integrate synonyms into your writing and avoid any potential pitfalls that may hinder clarity and comprehension.

Cultural Or Regional Differences

Language is a dynamic and ever-evolving entity, influenced by cultural and regional factors. When using synonyms, it is crucial to consider any cultural or regional differences that may impact their usage and understanding. Here are a few aspects to keep in mind:

  • Idiomatic expressions: Different cultures and regions have their own unique idiomatic expressions, which may not have direct equivalents in other languages or dialects. When using synonyms, be cautious of idiomatic expressions that may not carry the same meaning or cultural relevance.
  • Colloquialisms and slang: Colloquial language and slang can vary significantly from one region to another. Synonyms used in a specific regional context may not be understood or may have different connotations in other regions. Consider your target audience and their cultural background when selecting synonyms to ensure effective communication.
  • Cultural sensitivities: Certain words or phrases may carry different cultural sensitivities or taboos. It is crucial to be aware of these cultural nuances when using synonyms, especially if you are writing for a global or diverse audience. Respectful and inclusive language choices are essential for effective communication.

By acknowledging and respecting cultural and regional differences, you can use synonyms in a way that fosters understanding and connects with your readers on a deeper level.

Synonyms Or Alternates To Use

When it comes to writing, using synonyms can greatly enhance the quality and variety of your sentences. By incorporating different words with similar meanings, you can avoid repetition and add depth to your writing. In this section, we will explore four synonyms or alternate words that can be used interchangeably with “synonyms,” while also highlighting any subtle differences in meaning or usage.

Synonym 1: Thesaurus

The first synonym we will discuss is “thesaurus.” Like “synonyms,” a thesaurus is a valuable tool for writers seeking to diversify their vocabulary. However, while “synonyms” refers to words with similar meanings, a thesaurus is a reference book or online resource that provides a compilation of synonyms and antonyms for various words. It serves as a comprehensive guide to help writers find alternative words that convey similar or opposite meanings to the ones they are already using.

Contexts where “thesaurus” might be preferred over “synonyms” include situations where writers are specifically looking for a wide range of alternative words or seeking antonyms to express contrasting ideas. Additionally, the term “thesaurus” is often used to refer to the actual resource itself, whereas “synonyms” is more commonly used as a general term.

Synonym 2: Equivalents

The second synonym we will explore is “equivalents.” While “synonyms” and “equivalents” share the common goal of providing alternative words, “equivalents” emphasizes the idea of words that have the same or similar meaning in a particular context. It implies a level of equality or interchangeability between the words being compared.

When it comes to usage, “equivalents” can be preferred over “synonyms” when highlighting the importance of finding words that possess an equal or nearly identical meaning. This term is particularly useful in technical or scientific writing, where precision and accuracy are crucial. In these contexts, using “equivalents” can convey the idea that the chosen words are interchangeable without any significant change in meaning.

Synonym 3: Alternates

The third synonym we will discuss is “alternates.” While “synonyms” and “alternates” both refer to words that can be used in place of another, “alternates” carries a connotation of providing options or choices. It suggests that there are multiple alternatives available and encourages writers to consider different possibilities.

In terms of usage, “alternates” can be preferred over “synonyms” when writers want to emphasize the idea of selecting from a range of options. This term is often used in creative writing or when there is a need to express variety or diversity. By using “alternates,” writers can convey the notion of exploring different words to achieve a desired effect or to suit a specific tone or style.

Synonym 4: Paraphrases

The fourth synonym we will explore is “paraphrases.” While “synonyms” and “paraphrases” share the goal of providing alternative words, “paraphrases” specifically refers to restating or expressing something in different words, often with the aim of clarifying or simplifying the original idea.

When it comes to usage, “paraphrases” can be preferred over “synonyms” when writers want to convey the notion of rephrasing or rewording their sentences without altering the core meaning. This term is commonly used in academic writing or when there is a need to explain complex concepts in a more accessible manner. By incorporating “paraphrases,” writers can demonstrate their ability to present information in a concise and understandable way while maintaining the integrity of the original message.

Related Phrases Or Idioms

When it comes to using synonyms in a sentence, one interesting aspect to explore is the incorporation of related phrases or idioms. These linguistic expressions not only add depth and creativity to our language but also provide alternative ways to convey meaning. Let’s delve into a few of these phrases and idioms that incorporate synonyms, understanding their meanings and exploring example sentences.

1. Birds Of A Feather Flock Together

This well-known idiom implies that individuals with similar interests, characteristics, or beliefs tend to associate with one another. It suggests that people of like minds or similar backgrounds naturally gravitate towards each other.

Example sentence: “In the office, the marketing team and the creative team often collaborate as birds of a feather, sharing innovative ideas and strategies.”

2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

This phrase emphasizes the significance of actions over mere words or promises. It suggests that what one does holds more weight and credibility than what one says.

Example sentence: “While he claimed to support environmental causes, his actions spoke louder than words when he initiated a tree-planting campaign in his neighborhood.”

3. A Penny For Your Thoughts

This idiom is often used as a request for someone to share their thoughts or opinions on a particular matter. It conveys a willingness to listen and engage in a conversation.

Example sentence: “After a long pause, she looked at him and said, ‘A penny for your thoughts?’ hoping to understand his silence.”

4. Beat Around The Bush

This phrase refers to avoiding direct or straightforward communication about a topic. It implies speaking indirectly or evasively instead of addressing the matter at hand.

Example sentence: “Rather than addressing the issue directly, the politician continued to beat around the bush, avoiding any clear answers.”

5. In The Same Boat

This idiomatic expression suggests that individuals are facing similar circumstances or challenges. It implies a shared experience or situation.

Example sentence: “As small business owners, they understood the struggles they faced and knew they were all in the same boat.”

These phrases and idioms provide alternative ways to express ideas and convey meaning by incorporating synonyms. By incorporating such linguistic expressions into our writing or conversations, we can add depth and nuance to our language, making it more engaging and compelling.

In conclusion, the correct usage of synonyms holds significant importance in effective communication and writing. By incorporating synonyms into our sentences, we can elevate our language, avoid repetition, and add depth to our ideas. Synonyms not only enhance the clarity and precision of our message but also engage and captivate the reader.

Using synonyms correctly allows us to express ourselves with eloquence and sophistication. It demonstrates our mastery of language and showcases our ability to convey nuanced meanings. By employing synonyms, we can paint a vivid picture in the minds of our audience, evoking emotions and creating a lasting impact.

Furthermore, synonyms play a crucial role in avoiding monotony and monotony can lead to disinterest and disengagement from the reader. By diversifying our vocabulary and utilizing synonyms, we can maintain the reader’s attention and make our writing more engaging and compelling.

It is important to note that using synonyms correctly requires practice and a deep understanding of their meanings and contexts. As readers and writers, we should continuously strive to expand our vocabulary and explore new words that can enrich our sentences. By incorporating synonyms into our own writing, we can refine our language skills and develop a unique voice.

Practical Tips To Practice Using Synonyms:

To enhance your proficiency in using synonyms, consider the following tips:

  • Read extensively: Immerse yourself in a variety of texts, including literature, articles, and essays. Pay attention to how authors employ synonyms to convey their ideas effectively.
  • Build a vocabulary bank: Keep a record of new words and their synonyms. Regularly review and practice incorporating them into your writing.
  • Utilize a thesaurus: Make use of online or offline thesauruses to discover synonyms for common words. However, exercise caution to ensure the chosen synonym fits the context appropriately.
  • Experiment with sentence structures: Practice rewriting sentences using different synonyms to understand their nuances and impact on the overall meaning.
  • Seek feedback: Share your writing with others, such as friends, mentors, or writing groups, and ask for feedback on your use of synonyms. Their insights can help you refine your skills.

Remember, mastering the art of using synonyms in a sentence takes time and effort. However, the rewards are immeasurable. By incorporating synonyms effectively, we can elevate our writing, captivate our readers, and express ourselves with clarity and precision.

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He’s one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don’t even want to know what he calls pancakes.

Enago Academy

How to Use Synonyms Effectively in a Sentence? — A way to avoid plagiarism!

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Do you remember those school days when memorizing synonyms and antonyms played a major role in acing our language exams? Who knew it would keep you from committing the malpractice of plagiarism as a researcher today? As a child, it was easier to build a vocabulary and learn new words, be they synonyms or antonyms. But adults have neither the time nor the reason to learn new words and synonyms.

Therefore, students, researchers, and academic staff often face challenges in using synonyms effectively in a sentence.  But as an adult, there is no time or reason to learn new words, let alone understand how to use synonyms correctly in a sentence. Therefore, most frequently, students, researchers, and academic staff are not able to use words effectively in a sentence.

Table of Contents

What Is a Synonym?

A synonym is simply a word that means the same as the other word in question. These words may not always mean the same as the original word, but they can be closely related to it. It comes from the Greek words “syn” and “onym,” which mean “together” and “name,” respectively. While speaking or writing, avoid using the same words; it will improve your vocabulary. Further, you could use a thesaurus to find synonyms. When speaking or writing, one of the best ways to expand your vocabulary and avoid using the same words repeatedly is to use a thesaurus to find synonyms (words with similar meanings).

use synonym in essay

A thesaurus is a general phrase that describes a type of dictionary. It provides a list of words having the same or similar meaning as the referenced word. For example, if you were to look up the word “beautiful,” you might get a listing of more than thirty words that have a similar meaning, such as attractive, pretty, lovely, charming, etc. There are many forms of a thesaurus, from Roget’s Thesaurus , authored by Peter Mark Roget and published in 1852, to online materials available from companies that specialize in educational resources.

Why Is Using Synonyms Important?

It is important to use synonyms because they help to enhance the writing quality and provide readers with a crisp and unique outlook of the text. Furthermore, it can also improve both oral and writing skills, as explained ahead. However, using complex synonyms does not directly enhance the text. In the end, it is about how the context does not change and is easily comprehended by the reader.

Benefits of Using Synonyms in Writing

Synonyms and related words are used to make your text easier to read. Some of the benefits of using synonyms are as follows:

  • Makes text more captivating
  • Helps avoid monotone in speaking and writing
  • Improves communication between you and others
  • Helps readers in visualizing better
Related: Having difficulty with language and grammar in your thesis? Check out these helpful resources now!

For example, instead of using the word “beautiful” several times in your text, you could search for its synonyms and use “gorgeous,” “stunning,” or “ravishing” to enhance your language. Using a word repeatedly may lose the attention of your audience simply out of boredom!

In an effort to increase your vocabulary , it is helpful to keep a journal or list of new words to refer to. It is easy to use synonyms by building your collection of words. The recommended tools in this article will help you create a bank of words with their correct meanings. It is also beneficial to use new synonyms often while speaking or writing to keep them in your memory.

Use of Synonyms Helps Avoid Plagiarism

Writers and editors deal with the serious issue of plagiarism, which is also considered copyright infringement. Moreover, dealing with plagiarism is essential for academic researchers because plagiarizing someone else’s work in a research document can even destroy one’s professional credibility.

The borrowed thoughts or ideas that you refer to in your work should be correctly cited and referenced. Must you always use direct quotations? Not necessarily, but any part of the original text that you include in your paraphrased text should be in quotation marks.

Paraphrasing allows us to reduce a lengthy quotation by using fewer words to convey the same message. Furthermore, it can help to avoid the temptation of using too many quotations. This is where you could search for synonyms, but you must be mindful of what words to use.

How to Paraphrase Without Plagiarizing?

When you paraphrase the content —

  • Choose to replace the original idea with true synonyms. For example, the original phrase, “It was a dark day,” could mean more than one thing. It could mean that the weather was gloomy or that the person’s mood was somber and depressed.
  • Be sure that you grasp the original idea and use words that convey the same meaning.

Recommended Tools/Websites for Finding Synonyms

Several books and websites can help you build your pool of synonyms. One of the most commonly used publications is Roget’s Thesaurus , available in both print and digital versions. Here are some of the recommended tools/websites for finding appropriate synonyms:

1. The Visual Thesaurus®

It is an interactive dictionary that allows you to type in a word for which you want a synonym and then creates “word maps” of related words. It also provides definitions.


It is another interactive reference tool that not only provides synonyms and other related words, but also categorizes them based on complexity and length, and whether the word is used formally or informally. The site also features a “word of the day” as an aid for building your vocabulary.


It provides synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and even translations of the word in several other languages.

4. Reverso Dictionary

It provides synonyms and translations of a word in other languages.

Learning to use synonyms effectively can help you better communicate your ideas. Also, using clear and concise text with a variety of synonyms can provide your audience with an interesting reading experience that will hold their attention. After all, the ultimate goal in academic writing is to present new topics in research with more clarity and lucid language for everyone’s easy comprehension.

Do you struggle to find the right word to avoid the overuse of another word? What do you do then? A tool or website that you can swear by? Let all our fellow academics know about it too.

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itis helpful, I just have difficulty understanding synonymous and now I understand the meaning of synonymous

Why is it that i can’t use “found death”, “found passed away”, “found dies” and “found died” when I can use found dead or found deceased? at least all of them mean the same.

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Say it Better: Using Synonyms as a Writer

Want to making your writing clearer? Using synonyms in your writing is an easy way to connect with your audience and keep your writing fresh.

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Want to making your writing clearer? Using synonyms in your writing is an easy way to connect with your audience and keep your writing fresh. Today we share 10 tips for how to use synonyms and choose the right words everytime you write.

using synonyms as a writer

Have you ever caught yourself in the middle of writing and notice you’ve been using the same word or expression over and over? Did you ever feel stuck because you were striving for variety but were having difficulty finding the right words?

Keeping a limited and mind-numbing vocabulary is certainly no one’s idea of fun. Writer or not, it takes a while to expand knowledge on word stock.

Simple rephrasing or rewording sometimes doesn’t work. There’s context and structure to consider. Being able to refer to the same thing in varying ways is what makes writing a formidable skill to master. Consistency in pursuing knowledge and practice is what makes an excellent wordsmith. 

Here are some ways to help you in becoming an expert scribe and finally master the use of synonyms in your writing once and for all.  

1. Observe and Replace

use synonym in essay

Self-awareness of what words you choose to use is the key to becoming a better writer. Observe the words or key phrases you always use. Research for alternatives.

Once you identify which words need changed, slowly replace the ones you regularly use with their alternatives. If you use them enough, eventually it will stick. You can make it a goal to work on 5 phrases or words at a time. 

for examplefor instance, to illustrate, let us say
reallycertainly, absolutely, indubitably
saidbabbled, blurted, commented
in conclusionall things considered, in a nutshell, to sum up
actuallyclearly, certainly, veritable

2. Gauge Word Fit Based on Context

give context

A thesaurus is a great tool to help broaden word choice, but it’s not always easy enough to just pick any old word from a list. Don’t substitute words without considering context. While it presents you with words that are related to what you have, they may have slightly different definitions.

Consider the yellow bananas above. If you call them mouth-watering, this paints an entirely different meaning than you might if you just called them delicious.

This is why they say in order to improve one’s writing style, the person must also be willing to invest time reading. By reading, you observe what makes sense to use by noticing how words differ in meaning and usage.

There are also some instances, like learning colloquial terms, which can be learned by conversing and interacting with people which brings us to our next point.

3. Maintain a Record of New words You Encounter

use synonym in essay

One of the things you may want to consider including in your writer’s notebook is maintaining a record of new words you come across.

Take note of their meaning and how they were being used. Cite examples.

Doing so will allow you to easily recall and use them when needed. Try to use them in your day to day conversations to grow accustomed to it.

Keeping track of your favorite synonyms and jotting down different ways to say something can help you with writing dialogue and also improving the revision process of your work.

4. Enhance your writing style with Euphemisms

Say something nicely with Euphemisms.

Euphemisms are the “nice words” we say when other words might be too strong. Unless it was your intention to be blunt or harsh, a good grasp of euphemisms can help improve your communication style and avoid miscommunication.  

fire someonelet someone go
diedpassed away
euthanizeput to sleep
unemployedin between jobs
homelesson the streets
bankruptfinancially challenged

5. Use Idioms to Spice It Up

use synonym in essay

Idiomatic expressions can make a reader pause, think and evaluate a situation.There are instances wherein using idioms can help denote cultural aspects as well.

The trick with using idioms in your writing is to use them sparingly and only when absolutely necessary – you don’t want to risk your work sounding cliché.

Here are some interesting idioms you can use as synonyms while writing:

let the cat out of the bagtell a secret
split hairsargue over small details
be glad to see someone’s backbe happy to see someone leaving
cutting corners doing something badly
in the doghouseto have some people unhappy with you

6. Be Precise

Merely using an adjective is not going to provide a reader with the most vivid picture of what’s going on. Take the time to use the surroundings as means of comparison or contrast. These are some ways you can say it better:

The room is hot. → The room’s temperature is oven-like. John is tall. → John almost reaches the ceiling. He is noticeable. → You will not miss his presence once he enters the room. She is very beautiful. → Her face could stop the traffic whenever she crosses the street. The house is very messy. → The house is akin to a big dumpsite. You would take hours rummaging through the household items to find what you need.

7. Avoid the use of “very.”

stop using the word very

The author of Dead Poets Society, N.H Kleinbaum, pointed out that using “very” to describe something is an act of laziness, to which we absolutely agree! For lack of apt words to describe something, people tend to insert the word “very” to up the degree of the adjective. This can be avoided by introducing new words into your vocabulary to properly portray the intensity you aim for. Case in point:

very strongunyielding
very oldancient
very afraidterrified
very poordestitute
very riskyperilous
very bigimmense
very weakfeeble
very largecolossal
very coldfreezing
very stupididiotic
very noisydeafening
very shytimid
very quickrapid
very shinygleaming
very shortbrief

8. D evelop a love for stories and creative pieces.

use synonym in essay

Keep a pile of nonfiction novels for a good read. This form of writing exposes you to different approaches to describing a scene or situation. Best selling authors have acquired the skill of using words and phrases to perfectly paint a clear picture or situation. They take you to the plot and let you imagine what happens next as if you were there.

9. Take vocabulary quizzes.

There are quite a lot of vocabulary quizzes you can take online. You can learn something new and have fun at the same time. 

Merriam-Webster for one has become crafty by coming up with an online quiz they call, “How Strong Is Your Vocabulary” which you have to answer in 10 seconds. Enhancing the inner thesaurus in you does not have to be boring. Always challenge yourself. Aim to continuously improve your communication skills.

Learn 18 Ways to Improve Your Vocabulary Skills Here

10. Offer to edit other people’s work

editing quote

Editing other people’s write-up could make you keen on frequently committed errors in grammar, flow, clarity, etc. It could help you pick up new words, learn alternative ways to say things and acquaint yourself with other styles of writing. You could harvest new learnings from what you are reading and editing. 

There’s nothing you will regret from opting to expand your vocabulary and enhance your communication style. Learning to write using synonyms and say things better will make it easier for you to interact with people better and be clearer with your intentions.

Do you have any tips for writing with synonyms and choosing words for your writing? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below!

Eric Pangburn is a freelance writer who shares his best tips with other writers here at ThinkWritten. When not writing, he enjoys coaching basketball and spending time with his family.

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How to use a thesaurus to actually improve your writing

A hand reaching for a typewriter

  • Many writers and teachers suggest you shouldn’t use a thesaurus when writing.
  • When misused, a thesaurus can make writing sound flabby and over-stuffed.
  • To improve your writing, use a thesaurus to help find and maintain the cadence of your sentence.

If you’ve spent any time trying to learn the craft of writing, you’ve no doubt heard your share of myths, opinions, and prejudices gussied up as hard-and-fast rules. Things like: You should write every day. Only write about what you know. Bad grammar is a sign of an unintelligent person. You must know the rules to break them. And never, ever start a sentence with a conjunction.

One such “rule” that has always baffled me is the prohibition against using a thesaurus to write. I’ve heard from fellow writers, English teachers, and friends who only scratch out the occasional email or tweet. But no one has expressed it as fervently as Stephen King did in his book On Writing :

“[T]hrow your thesaurus into the wastebasket. The only things creepier than a thesaurus are those little paperbacks college students too lazy to read the assigned novels buy around exam time. Any word you have to hunt for in a thesaurus is the wrong word. There are no exceptions to this rule.”

All respect to King, but that is nonsense — also bunkum, hooey, hogwash, and poppycock.

A thesaurus is no different than any other reference book. It’s a treasure trove of information; words cataloged with a librarian’s exactness to help writers compose the best phrase to express their ideas . In fact, the word thesaurus comes from the Greek thēsauros , meaning “a treasury or storehouse.” But like any treasure, the value we derive from it doesn’t come from squandering it. It comes from using it wisely.

How not to use a thesaurus

When people rail against the thesaurus, they are often lecturing against a specific misuse — that being, looking up a 10-dollar Latinism when dime-store English would suffice. This misuse is typical of writers fearful that an everyday word isn’t sophisticated enough to impress. In a bid to sound more educated, such writers describe apartments as luxuriant when luxurious is the better choice or claim a new therapy will “bring a cessation to the smoking habit” instead of simply “helping smokers quit.”

Fair enough. A thesaurus can be a box-and-stick trap for the unattentive writer, and I imagine most writers, myself included, have sprung that trap after being enticed by the bait of a big, fancy word. But carelessness doesn’t demand chucking your thesaurus into the wastebasket or, more likely, deleting the bookmark from your toolbar. The advice could be refashioned as a simple warning to choose wisely among a thesaurus’s offerings and cross-reference them with a dictionary.

As Steven Pinker notes in The Sense of Style : “I write with a thesaurus, mindful of the advice I once read in a bicycle repair manual on how to squeeze a dent out of a rim with Vise-Grip pliers: ‘Do not get carried away with the destructive potential of this tool.’”

A case of synonymomania

Ironically, another fear driving writers toward thesaurus misuse is one more writing myth passed around as gospel: to never use the same word twice in a sentence, paragraph, and sometimes page. (The length varies depending on who’s doling out the advice.)

H.W. Fowler sarcastically called this the rule of “elegant variation.” Theodore Bernstein referred to it as “ monologophobia ,” the fear of repeating the same word, which can in turn lead to a chronic case of “synonymomania,” or the compulsion to “call a spade successively a garden implement .” Whatever the label, this rule sends writers rushing to a thesaurus to needlessly find a synonym — any synonym! — to avoid sinful repetition.

“But mechanical substitution of synonyms may make a bad situation worse,” Bernstein writes in The Careful Writer . “It is particularly objectionable if the synonym is the one that falls strangely on the ear or eye: calling a snowfall a descent , calling gold the yellow metal , calling charcoal the ancient black substance . Repetition of the word is better than these strained synonyms. Often a pronoun is a good remedy, and sometimes no word at all is required.”

Pinker backs up Fowler and Berstein with psycholinguistic support. He notes that when two different words are used, readers will typically assume they’re referring to two different things. Using the same word or a pronoun helps the reader keep track of a paragraph’s actors and actions without tedium or bewildered backtracking.

That’s not to say that all repetition is advisable, of course. Pinker also points out that if the repetition trips up the reader, sounds monotonous, or potentially misleads, then variation becomes necessary. And this clarification takes us to the first way to use a thesaurus properly: rhythm.

Author Vladimir Nabokov

How to use a thesaurus to improve your writing

Novelist Martin Amis reaches for his thesaurus when he finds a word has thrown off his rhythm. Perhaps it has created unintentional alliteration, or the syllable count has led a phrase to stop short of pleasing, or a prefix-suffix pairing has bonked together with an audible thud. Whatever the case, Amis will use a thesaurus to find a similar word that helps the sentence “maintain its rhythmical integrity.”

One of his guides for this strategy is novelist Vladimir Nabokov, a writer praised for his melodic, if sometimes disturbing , prose. As Amis shared in an interview, Nabokov’s novel Invitation to a Beheading was originally titled Invitation to an Execution . But the repetition of the suffixes sounded ugly to Nabokov, so he selected a synonym that retained the meaning while being more lyrical.

“It takes a long time, sometimes, to get your sentence right, rhythmically, and to clear the main words in it from misuse,” Amis said. “And all you’re winning is the respect of other serious writers. But I think that any amount of effort is worth it for that.”

A thesaurus can also serve as a phrase tuner, a place where a writer can explore different words to find the one that strikes the perfect chord. For example, above I could have written that prefix-suffix pairings hit , slammed , crashed , knocked, smashed , walloped , or hammered into each other. A thesaurus offers no shortage of options, each one ringing out with its own connotations and associations. I chose bonked because it embodied the clumsy and accidental vibe I was going for.

“The best words not only pinpoint an idea better than any alternative but echo it in their sound and articulation.” Steven PInker

And despite my jab at 10-dollar words earlier, there are times when a writer will want to peruse a thesaurus for a word atypical of workaday English. Courtesy of Pinker, here’s an example from Margalit Fox’s obituary of fellow journalist Mike McGrady: “ Naked Came the Stranger was written by 25 Newsday journalists in an era when newsrooms were arguably more relaxed and inarguably more bibulous.” 

Straight from the Latin, bibulous means “fond of alcohol,” and again, any thesaurus will offer up plenty of alternatives: drunk , tipsy , soused , inebriated , and pickled for example. Pinker suggests bibulous is the best choice because of its playfulness. Those repetitive Bs not only sound fun, but they ring out with the party-minded phonemes of babbling and bubbly .

Note how the way Fox incorporated the word into the sentence doesn’t suggest she was trying to show off or appease monologophobia. Read it aloud, and feel how it enlivens her prose with a surprise ending that perfectly captures the idea, tone, and rhythm of the scene. And while she may have had bibulous on the top of her mind when writing, she just as easily could have discovered it in her thesaurus.

Finding your own rhythm

Of course, a different reader might feel Fox’s use of bibulous to be show-offy. Someone out there may prefer the title Invitation to an Execution . And I’m sure many readers will take issue with the choices I made throughout this article. As with any craft, writing is as much about discovering your own rhythm and voice as it is following a litany of paint-by-number rules.

A final example for the road: In On Writing Well , William Zinsser shares a time he wrote a sentence his editor disliked. It was, “They don’t look like cities that get visited by many visiting artists,” and his editor wanted to revise the sentence to remove the second “visiting” (a case of monologophobia, perhaps?). But Zinsser stood firm. He wanted the cadence of that repetition. After a prolonged argument, his editor relented.

“If you allow your distinctiveness to be edited out, you will lose one of your main virtues,” Zinsser writes of the experience.

Used properly, a thesaurus can help you find that distinctiveness — especially when paired with a top-shelf dictionary. Used improperly, it can mask your distinctiveness behind the words that you think others want to hear. Either way, a proscription against such a handy writing tool is silly. Rather than throw yours in the wastebasket, take the time to learn how to use it and actually improve your writing.

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use synonym in essay

17 academic words and phrases to use in your essay

(Last updated: 20 October 2022)

Since 2006, Oxbridge Essays has been the UK’s leading paid essay-writing and dissertation service

We have helped 10,000s of undergraduate, Masters and PhD students to maximise their grades in essays, dissertations, model-exam answers, applications and other materials. If you would like a free chat about your project with one of our UK staff, then please just reach out on one of the methods below.

For the vast majority of students, essay writing doesn't always come easily. Writing at academic level is an acquired skill that can literally take years to master – indeed, many students find they only start to feel really confident writing essays just as their undergraduate course comes to an end!

If this is you, and you've come here looking for words and phrases to use in your essay, you're in the right place. We’ve pulled together a list of essential academic words you can use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essays .

Whilst your ideas and arguments should always be your own, borrowing some of the words and phrases listed below is a great way to articulate your ideas more effectively, and ensure that you keep your reader’s attention from start to finish.

It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that there's a certain formality that comes with academic writing. Casual and conversational phrases have no place. Obviously, there are no LOLs, LMFAOs, and OMGs. But formal academic writing can be much more subtle than this, and as we've mentioned above, requires great skill.

So, to get you started on polishing your own essay writing ability, try using the words in this list as an inspirational starting point.

Words to use in your introduction

The trickiest part of academic writing often comes right at the start, with your introduction. Of course, once you’ve done your plan and have your arguments laid out, you need to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and begin your essay.

You need to consider that your reader doesn’t have a clue about your topic or arguments, so your first sentence must summarise these. Explain what your essay is going to talk about as though you were explaining it to a five year old – without losing the formality of your academic writing, of course! To do this, use any of the below words or phrases to help keep you on track.

1. Firstly, secondly, thirdly

Even though it sounds obvious, your argument will be clearer if you deliver the ideas in the right order. These words can help you to offer clarity and structure to the way you expose your ideas. This is an extremely effective method of presenting the facts clearly. Don’t be too rigid and feel you have to number each point, but using this system can be a good way to get an argument off the ground, and link arguments together.

2. In view of; in light of; considering

These essay phrases are useful to begin your essay. They help you pose your argument based on what other authors have said or a general concern about your research. They can also both be used when a piece of evidence sheds new light on an argument. Here’s an example: The result of the American invasion has severely impaired American interests in the Middle East, exponentially increasing popular hostility to the United States throughout the region, a factor which has proved to be a powerful recruitment tool for extremist terrorist groups (Isakhan, 2015). Considering [or In light of / In view of] the perceived resulting threat to American interests, it could be argued that the Bush administration failed to fully consider the impact of their actions before pushing forward with the war.

3. According to X; X stated that; referring to the views of X

Introducing the views of an author who has a comprehensive knowledge of your particular area of study is a crucial part of essay writing. Including a quote that fits naturally into your work can be a bit of a struggle, but these academic phrases provide a great way in.

Even though it’s fine to reference a quote in your introduction, we don’t recommend you start your essay with a direct quote. Use your own words to sum up the views you’re mentioning, for example:

As Einstein often reiterated, experiments can prove theories, but experiments don’t give birth to theories.

Rather than:

“A theory can be proved by experiment, but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.” {Albert Einstein, 1954, Einstein: A Biography}.

See the difference?

And be sure to reference correctly too, when using quotes or paraphrasing someone else's words.

use synonym in essay

Adding information and flow

The flow of your essay is extremely important. You don’t want your reader to be confused by the rhythm of your writing and get distracted away from your argument, do you? No! So, we recommend using some of the following ‘flow’ words, which are guaranteed to help you articulate your ideas and arguments in a chronological and structured order.

4. Moreover; furthermore; in addition; what’s more

These types of academic phrases are perfect for expanding or adding to a point you’ve already made without interrupting the flow altogether. “Moreover”, “furthermore” and “in addition” are also great linking phrases to begin a new paragraph.

Here are some examples: The dissociation of tau protein from microtubules destabilises the latter resulting in changes to cell structure, and neuronal transport. Moreover, mitochondrial dysfunction leads to further oxidative stress causing increased levels of nitrous oxide, hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidases.

On the data of this trial, no treatment recommendations should be made. The patients are suspected, but not confirmed, to suffer from pneumonia. Furthermore, five days is too short a follow up time to confirm clinical cure.

5. In order to; to that end; to this end

These are helpful academic phrases to introduce an explanation or state your aim. Oftentimes your essay will have to prove how you intend to achieve your goals. By using these sentences you can easily expand on points that will add clarity to the reader.

For example: My research entailed hours of listening and recording the sound of whales in order to understand how they communicate.

Dutch tech companies offer support in the fight against the virus. To this end, an online meeting took place on Wednesday...

Even though we recommend the use of these phrases, DO NOT use them too often. You may think you sound like a real academic but it can be a sign of overwriting!

6. In other words; to put it another way; that is; to put it more simply

Complement complex ideas with simple descriptions by using these sentences. These are excellent academic phrases to improve the continuity of your essay writing. They should be used to explain a point you’ve already made in a slightly different way. Don’t use them to repeat yourself, but rather to elaborate on a certain point that needs further explanation. Or, to succinctly round up what just came before.

For example: A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between phenomena. In other words, there is no treatment effect.

Nothing could come to be in this pre-world time, “because no part of such a time possesses, as compared with any other, a distinguishing condition of existence rather than non-existence.” That is, nothing exists in this pre-world time, and so there can be nothing that causes the world to come into existence.

7. Similarly; likewise; another key fact to remember; as well as; an equally significant aspect of

These essay words are a good choice to add a piece of information that agrees with an argument or fact you just mentioned. In academic writing, it is very relevant to include points of view that concur with your opinion. This will help you to situate your research within a research context.

Also , academic words and phrases like the above are also especially useful so as not to repeat the word ‘also’ too many times. (We did that on purpose to prove our point!) Your reader will be put off by the repetitive use of simple conjunctions. The quality of your essay will drastically improve just by using academic phrases and words such as ‘similarly’, ‘as well as’, etc. Here, let us show you what we mean:

In 1996, then-transport minister Steve Norris enthused about quadrupling cycling trips by 2012. Similarly, former prime minister David Cameron promised a “cycling revolution” in 2013…

Or Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) aims to bridge the gap of access to electricity across the continent (...). Another key fact to remember is that it must expand cost-efficient access to electricity to nearly 1 billion people.

The wording “not only… but also” is a useful way to elaborate on a similarity in your arguments but in a more striking way.

use synonym in essay

Comparing and contrasting information

Academic essays often include opposite opinions or information in order to prove a point. It is important to show all the aspects that are relevant to your research. Include facts and researchers’ views that disagree with a point of your essay to show your knowledge of your particular field of study. Below are a few words and ways of introducing alternative arguments.

8. Conversely; however; alternatively; on the contrary; on the other hand; whereas

Finding a seamless method to present an alternative perspective or theory can be hard work, but these terms and phrases can help you introduce the other side of the argument. Let's look at some examples:

89% of respondents living in joint families reported feeling financially secure. Conversely, only 64% of those who lived in nuclear families said they felt financially secure.

The first protagonist has a social role to fill in being a father to those around him, whereas the second protagonist relies on the security and knowledge offered to him by Chaplin.

“On the other hand” can also be used to make comparisons when worded together with “on the one hand.”

9. By contrast; in comparison; then again; that said; yet

These essay phrases show contrast, compare facts, and present uncertainty regarding a point in your research. “That said” and “yet” in particular will demonstrate your expertise on a topic by showing the conditions or limitations of your research area. For example:

All the tests were positive. That said, we must also consider the fact that some of them had inconclusive results.

10. Despite this; provided that; nonetheless

Use these phrases and essay words to demonstrate a positive aspect of your subject-matter regardless of lack of evidence, logic, coherence, or criticism. Again, this kind of information adds clarity and expertise to your academic writing.

A good example is:

Despite the criticism received by X, the popularity of X remains undiminished.

11. Importantly; significantly; notably; another key point

Another way to add contrast is by highlighting the relevance of a fact or opinion in the context of your research. These academic words help to introduce a sentence or paragraph that contains a very meaningful point in your essay.

Giving examples

A good piece of academic writing will always include examples. Illustrating your essay with examples will make your arguments stronger. Most of the time, examples are a way to clarify an explanation; they usually offer an image that the reader can recognise. The most common way to introduce an illustration is “for example.” However, in order not to repeat yourself here are a few other options.

12. For instance; to give an illustration of; to exemplify; to demonstrate; as evidence; to elucidate

The academic essays that are receiving top marks are the ones that back up every single point made. These academic phrases are a useful way to introduce an example. If you have a lot of examples, avoid repeating the same phrase to facilitate the readability of your essay.

Here’s an example:

‘High involvement shopping’, an experiential process described by Wu et al. (2015, p. 299) relies upon the development of an identity-based alliance between the customer and the brand. Celebrity status at Prada, for example, has created an alliance between the brand and a new generation of millennial customers.

use synonym in essay

Concluding your essay

Concluding words for essays are necessary to wrap up your argument. Your conclusion must include a brief summary of the ideas that you just exposed without being redundant. The way these ideas are expressed should lead to the final statement and core point you have arrived at in your present research.

13. In conclusion; to conclude; to summarise; in sum; in the final analysis; on close analysis

These are phrases for essays that will introduce your concluding paragraph. You can use them at the beginning of a sentence. They will show the reader that your essay is coming to an end:

On close analysis and appraisal, we see that the study by Cortis lacks essential features of the highest quality quantitative research.

14. Persuasive; compelling

Essay words like these ones can help you emphasize the most relevant arguments of your paper. Both are used in the same way: “the most persuasive/compelling argument is…”.

15. Therefore; this suggests that; it can be seen that; the consequence is

When you’re explaining the significance of the results of a piece of research, these phrases provide the perfect lead up to your explanation.

16. Above all; chiefly; especially; most significantly; it should be noted

Your summary should include the most relevant information or research factor that guided you to your conclusion. Contrary to words such as “persuasive” or “compelling”, these essay words are helpful to draw attention to an important point. For example:

The feasibility and effectiveness of my research has been proven chiefly in the last round of laboratory tests.

Film noir is, and will continue to be, highly debatable, controversial, and unmarketable – but above all, for audience members past, present and to come, extremely enjoyable as a form of screen media entertainment.

17. All things considered

This essay phrase is meant to articulate how you give reasons to your conclusions. It means that after you considered all the aspects related to your study, you have arrived to the conclusion you are demonstrating.

After mastering the use of these academic words and phrases, we guarantee you will see an immediate change in the quality of your essays. The structure will be easier to follow, and the reader’s experience will improve. You’ll also feel more confident articulating your ideas and using facts and examples. So jot them all down, and watch your essays go from ‘good’ to ‘great’!

use synonym in essay

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use synonym in essay

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use synonym in essay

Home » Writers-House Blog » How to Use Synonyms Properly

How to Use Synonyms Properly

A synonym is a word that has the same meaning as the given word. The word “synonym” is of Greek origin, being a combination of “syn” (together) and “onym” (name). Synonyms give you a great opportunity to expand your vocabulary and to avoid unnecessary repetition. To find synonyms, you can use a thesaurus, which is a type of dictionary that has a list of words with the same or similar meanings. For instance, if you check the word “good,” a thesaurus will offer such synonyms as “acceptable,” “excellent,” “marvelous,” etc. There are many kinds of thesauri, from Roget’s Thesaurus published in 1852 to various websites and online apps. It’s important to know how to use synonyms properly in writing. They can help you improve both your writing and oral skills. Thus, in this article at , you can find all the necessary information about synonyms and their use in a sentence.

Benefits of Synonyms

First, synonyms make your text more interesting and captivating. They help you express ideas more precisely, improving communication. They also make any text less boring.

For instance, if you don’t want to use the word “beautiful” over and over again, you can also choose “charming,” “fascinating,” “lovely,” “magnificent,” etc. If you use the same words over and over again, your readers will quickly get bored.

You can build your own set of synonyms, and our tips will help you get started. When working on your vocabulary, it’s important to have a journal and note the new words that you learn. You also have to use them often to memorize them. The more often you use different synonyms, the easier it gets to choose the right word in the right situation.

Plagiarism is a very serious problem for students and writers because it’s considered a copyright violation. The plagiarism issue is especially serious in the academic field because presenting someone else’s words as your own can quickly destroy your professional credibility. When referring to someone else’s words, you should always make sure to provide references and citations. Does that mean that you should use direct quotations only? Fortunately, you can also include paraphrased segments that don’t need to be written in quotation marks.

Paraphrasing allows you to avoid long quotations, providing a concise message instead. It can also help you minimize the number of quotations, making your text easier to read. When paraphrasing other sources, synonyms can be especially useful.

If you want to paraphrase someone’s words, you must choose synonyms carefully, making sure that you don’t change the author’s intention. Some phrases may have several meanings, depending on the context, so you must determine the original idea and repeat it in your own words as precisely as possible.

There are many books and websites that can help you find synonyms to any word. Roget’s Thesaurus is very popular, and it’s available in both printed and electronic formats. However, there are many other good options to choose from.

For example, the Visual Thesaurus is an interactive solution that also provides a map of related words with definitions. You can also visit to get synonyms sorted by categories, choosing from among complex, simple, formal, and informal words. This website will also help you build your vocabulary with the “word of the day” feature. We also recommend that you check out Reverso dictionary that not only suggests synonyms but also allows you to translate text to other languages according to the context.

The use of synonyms improves your communication and makes your writing easier to read. Thanks to synonyms, you can make your text clear and concise, avoiding repetition, and helping your readers focus their attention. If you learn to use synonyms properly, you will improve your academic writing, being able to produce not only informative but also interesting and engaging papers.

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When and How to Use Synonyms

  • Definition & Examples
  • When & How to Use Synonyms

How to use Synonyms

To choose synonyms , you should consider several key things besides a word’s definition:

  • Connotation—do you want your meaning to be positive, negative, or neutral?
  • Type of Writing—is your work informative, persuasive, creative?
  • Audience—who has to understand the words: children, teenagers, adults?
  • Purpose—are you choosing words for descriptions like characterization, setting, etc?

While this may seem like a lot to think about, in reality, using synonyms comes naturally in our everyday speech. We take in our surroundings all the time—audience, setting, situation—and speak accordingly, sometimes even subconsciously. So, you choose synonyms to use in your writing just like you do when speaking.

When to use Synonyms

Synonyms are (and should be) used all the time! It’s important to know which synonyms to use when writing in different styles , genres , and forms of writing—creative, formal, informal, fiction, nonfiction and so on. For instance, read the two sentences below:

  • Informative: Beavers are mammals. They are skilled swimmers, and make their habitats in rivers, called dams.
  • Creative: Beavers are furry animals that spend their lives swimming and collecting. They find twigs and branches from forest around them to create amazing homes on the river, called dams.

  What’s more, proper word choice is important when writing for readers of all ages—for instance, the synonyms you choose for children’s literature should be simpler than those you used when writing young adult literature:

  • Children’s: The fuzzy yellow duckies went splish splash splish splash in the morning rain.
  • Young Adult: The ducklings, still with soft yellow feathers, waddled back and forth in the puddles after the dawn showers.

Furthermore, synonyms can also be used when you make a thought more or less simple or complete, or more or less detailed or descriptive. For example:

Going up the tall mountain was difficult.

Ascending the towering, elevated mountain was easier said than done.

The first sentence gets the point across to the audience. But, the second one uses synonyms to give a better idea of the situation and the author’s view. So, based on what you want to tell your audience, you can decide when to use which synonyms.

List of Terms

  • Alliteration
  • Amplification
  • Anachronism
  • Anthropomorphism
  • Antonomasia
  • APA Citation
  • Aposiopesis
  • Autobiography
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Words To Use In Essays: Amplifying Your Academic Writing

Use this comprehensive list of words to use in essays to elevate your writing. Make an impression and score higher grades with this guide!

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Words play a fundamental role in the domain of essay writing, as they have the power to shape ideas, influence readers, and convey messages with precision and impact. Choosing the right words to use in essays is not merely a matter of filling pages, but rather a deliberate process aimed at enhancing the quality of the writing and effectively communicating complex ideas. In this article, we will explore the importance of selecting appropriate words for essays and provide valuable insights into the types of words that can elevate the essay to new heights.

Words To Use In Essays

Using a wide range of words can make your essay stronger and more impressive. With the incorporation of carefully chosen words that communicate complex ideas with precision and eloquence, the writer can elevate the quality of their essay and captivate readers.

This list serves as an introduction to a range of impactful words that can be integrated into writing, enabling the writer to express thoughts with depth and clarity.








In contrast




Transition Words And Phrases

Transition words and phrases are essential linguistic tools that connect ideas, sentences, and paragraphs within a text. They work like bridges, facilitating the transitions between different parts of an essay or any other written work. These transitional elements conduct the flow and coherence of the writing, making it easier for readers to follow the author’s train of thought.

Here are some examples of common transition words and phrases:

Furthermore: Additionally; moreover.

However: Nevertheless; on the other hand.

In contrast: On the contrary; conversely.

Therefore: Consequently; as a result.

Similarly: Likewise; in the same way.

Moreover: Furthermore; besides.

In addition: Additionally; also.

Nonetheless: Nevertheless; regardless.

Nevertheless: However; even so.

On the other hand: Conversely; in contrast.

These are just a few examples of the many transition words and phrases available. They help create coherence, improve the organization of ideas, and guide readers through the logical progression of the text. When used effectively, transition words and phrases can significantly guide clarity for writing.

Strong Verbs For Academic Writing

Strong verbs are an essential component of academic writing as they add precision, clarity, and impact to sentences. They convey actions, intentions, and outcomes in a more powerful and concise manner. Here are some examples of strong verbs commonly used in academic writing:

Analyze: Examine in detail to understand the components or structure.

Critique: Assess or evaluate the strengths and weaknesses.

Demonstrate: Show the evidence to support a claim or argument.

Illuminate: Clarify or make something clearer.

Explicate: Explain in detail a thorough interpretation.

Synthesize: Combine or integrate information to create a new understanding.

Propose: Put forward or suggest a theory, idea, or solution.

Refute: Disprove or argue against a claim or viewpoint.

Validate: Confirm or prove the accuracy or validity of something.

Advocate: Support or argue in favor of a particular position or viewpoint.

Adjectives And Adverbs For Academic Essays

Useful adjectives and adverbs are valuable tools in academic writing as they enhance the description, precision, and depth of arguments and analysis. They provide specific details, emphasize key points, and add nuance to writing. Here are some examples of useful adjectives and adverbs commonly used in academic essays:

Comprehensive: Covering all aspects or elements; thorough.

Crucial: Extremely important or essential.

Prominent: Well-known or widely recognized; notable.

Substantial: Considerable in size, extent, or importance.

Valid: Well-founded or logically sound; acceptable or authoritative.

Effectively: In a manner that produces the desired result or outcome.

Significantly: To a considerable extent or degree; notably.

Consequently: As a result or effect of something.

Precisely: Exactly or accurately; with great attention to detail.

Critically: In a careful and analytical manner; with careful evaluation or assessment.

Words To Use In The Essay Introduction

The words used in the essay introduction play a crucial role in capturing the reader’s attention and setting the tone for the rest of the essay. They should be engaging, informative, and persuasive. Here are some examples of words that can be effectively used in the essay introduction:

Intriguing: A word that sparks curiosity and captures the reader’s interest from the beginning.

Compelling: Conveys the idea that the topic is interesting and worth exploring further.

Provocative: Creates a sense of controversy or thought-provoking ideas.

Insightful: Suggests that the essay will produce valuable and thought-provoking insights.

Startling: Indicates that the essay will present surprising or unexpected information or perspectives.

Relevant: Emphasizes the significance of the topic and its connection to broader issues or current events.

Timely: Indicates that the essay addresses a subject of current relevance or importance.

Thoughtful: Implies that the essay will offer well-considered and carefully developed arguments.

Persuasive: Suggests that the essay will present compelling arguments to convince the reader.

Captivating: Indicates that the essay will hold the reader’s attention and be engaging throughout.

Words To Use In The Body Of The Essay

The words used in the body of the essay are essential for effectively conveying ideas, providing evidence, and developing arguments. They should be clear, precise, and demonstrate a strong command of the subject matter. Here are some examples of words that can be used in the body of the essay:

Evidence: When presenting supporting information or data, words such as “data,” “research,” “studies,” “findings,” “examples,” or “statistics” can be used to strengthen arguments.

Analysis: To discuss and interpret the evidence, words like “analyze,” “examine,” “explore,” “interpret,” or “assess” can be employed to demonstrate a critical evaluation of the topic.

Comparison: When drawing comparisons or making contrasts, words like “similarly,” “likewise,” “in contrast,” “on the other hand,” or “conversely” can be used to highlight similarities or differences.

Cause and effect: To explain the relationship between causes and consequences, words such as “because,” “due to,” “leads to,” “results in,” or “causes” can be utilized.

Sequence: When discussing a series of events or steps, words like “first,” “next,” “then,” “finally,” “subsequently,” or “consequently” can be used to indicate the order or progression.

Emphasis: To emphasize a particular point or idea, words such as “notably,” “significantly,” “crucially,” “importantly,” or “remarkably” can be employed.

Clarification: When providing further clarification or elaboration, words like “specifically,” “in other words,” “for instance,” “to illustrate,” or “to clarify” can be used.

Integration: To show the relationship between different ideas or concepts, words such as “moreover,” “furthermore,” “additionally,” “likewise,” or “similarly” can be utilized.

Conclusion: When summarizing or drawing conclusions, words like “in conclusion,” “to summarize,” “overall,” “in summary,” or “to conclude” can be employed to wrap up ideas.

Remember to use these words appropriately and contextually, ensuring they strengthen the coherence and flow of arguments. They should serve as effective transitions and connectors between ideas, enhancing the overall clarity and persuasiveness of the essay.

Words To Use In Essay Conclusion

The words used in the essay conclusion are crucial for effectively summarizing the main points, reinforcing arguments, and leaving a lasting impression on the reader. They should bring a sense of closure to the essay while highlighting the significance of ideas. Here are some examples of words that can be used in the essay conclusion:

Summary: To summarize the main points, these words can be used “in summary,” “to sum up,” “in conclusion,” “to recap,” or “overall.”

Reinforcement: To reinforce arguments and emphasize their importance, words such as “crucial,” “essential,” “significant,” “noteworthy,” or “compelling” can be employed.

Implication: To discuss the broader implications of ideas or findings, words like “consequently,” “therefore,” “thus,” “hence,” or “as a result” can be utilized.

Call to action: If applicable, words that encourage further action or reflection can be used, such as “we must,” “it is essential to,” “let us consider,” or “we should.”

Future perspective: To discuss future possibilities or developments related to the topic, words like “potential,” “future research,” “emerging trends,” or “further investigation” can be employed.

Reflection: To reflect on the significance or impact of arguments, words such as “profound,” “notable,” “thought-provoking,” “transformative,” or “perspective-shifting” can be used.

Final thought: To leave a lasting impression, words or phrases that summarize the main idea or evoke a sense of thoughtfulness can be used, such as “food for thought,” “in light of this,” “to ponder,” or “to consider.”

How To Improve Essay Writing Vocabulary

Improving essay writing vocabulary is essential for effectively expressing ideas, demonstrating a strong command of the language, and engaging readers. Here are some strategies to enhance the essay writing vocabulary:

  • Read extensively: Reading a wide range of materials, such as books, articles, and essays, can give various writing styles, topics, and vocabulary. Pay attention to new words and their usage, and try incorporating them into the writing.
  • Use a dictionary and thesaurus:  Look up unfamiliar words in a dictionary to understand their meanings and usage. Additionally, utilize a thesaurus to find synonyms and antonyms to expand word choices and avoid repetition.
  • Create a word bank: To create a word bank, read extensively, write down unfamiliar or interesting words, and explore their meanings and usage. Organize them by categories or themes for easy reference, and practice incorporating them into writing to expand the vocabulary.
  • Contextualize vocabulary: Simply memorizing new words won’t be sufficient; it’s crucial to understand their proper usage and context. Pay attention to how words are used in different contexts, sentence structures, and rhetorical devices. 

How To Add Additional Information To Support A Point

When writing an essay and wanting to add additional information to support a point, you can use various transitional words and phrases. Here are some examples:

Furthermore: Add more information or evidence to support the previous point.

Additionally: Indicates an additional supporting idea or evidence.

Moreover: Emphasizes the importance or significance of the added information.

In addition: Signals the inclusion of another supporting detail.

Furthermore, it is important to note: Introduces an additional aspect or consideration related to the topic.

Not only that, but also: Highlights an additional point that strengthens the argument.

Equally important: Emphasizes the equal significance of the added information.

Another key point: Introduces another important supporting idea.

It is worth noting: Draws attention to a noteworthy detail that supports the point being made.

Additionally, it is essential to consider: Indicates the need to consider another aspect or perspective.

Using these transitional words and phrases will help you seamlessly integrate additional information into your essay, enhancing the clarity and persuasiveness of your arguments.

Words And Phrases That Demonstrate Contrast

When crafting an essay, it is crucial to effectively showcase contrast, enabling the presentation of opposing ideas or the highlighting of differences between concepts. The adept use of suitable words and phrases allows for the clear communication of contrast, bolstering the strength of arguments. Consider the following examples of commonly employed words and phrases to illustrate the contrast in essays:

However: e.g., “The experiment yielded promising results; however, further analysis is needed to draw conclusive findings.”

On the other hand: e.g., “Some argue for stricter gun control laws, while others, on the other hand, advocate for individual rights to bear arms.”

Conversely: e.g., “While the study suggests a positive correlation between exercise and weight loss, conversely, other research indicates that diet plays a more significant role.”

Nevertheless: e.g., “The data shows a decline in crime rates; nevertheless, public safety remains a concern for many citizens.”

In contrast: e.g., “The economic policies of Country A focus on free-market principles. In contrast, Country B implements more interventionist measures.”

Despite: e.g., “Despite the initial setbacks, the team persevered and ultimately achieved success.”

Although: e.g., “Although the participants had varying levels of experience, they all completed the task successfully.”

While: e.g., “While some argue for stricter regulations, others contend that personal responsibility should prevail.”

Words To Use For Giving Examples

When writing an essay and providing examples to illustrate your points, you can use a variety of words and phrases to introduce those examples. Here are some examples:

For instance: Introduces a specific example to support or illustrate your point.

For example: Give an example to clarify or demonstrate your argument.

Such as: Indicates that you are providing a specific example or examples.

To illustrate: Signals that you are using an example to explain or emphasize your point.

One example is: Introduces a specific instance that exemplifies your argument.

In particular: Highlights a specific example that is especially relevant to your point.

As an illustration: Introduces an example that serves as a visual or concrete representation of your point.

A case in point: Highlights a specific example that serves as evidence or proof of your argument.

To demonstrate: Indicates that you are providing an example to show or prove your point.

To exemplify: Signals that you are using an example to illustrate or clarify your argument.

Using these words and phrases will help you effectively incorporate examples into your essay, making your arguments more persuasive and relatable. Remember to give clear and concise examples that directly support your main points.

Words To Signifying Importance

When writing an essay and wanting to signify the importance of a particular point or idea, you can use various words and phrases to convey this emphasis. Here are some examples:

Crucially: Indicates that the point being made is of critical importance.

Significantly: Highlights the importance or significance of the idea or information.

Importantly: Draws attention to the crucial nature of the point being discussed.

Notably: Emphasizes that the information or idea is particularly worthy of attention.

It is vital to note: Indicates that the point being made is essential and should be acknowledged.

It should be emphasized: Draws attention to the need to give special importance or focus to the point being made.

A key consideration is: Highlight that the particular idea or information is a central aspect of the discussion.

It is critical to recognize: Emphasizes that the understanding or acknowledgment of the point is crucial.

Using these words and phrases will help you convey the importance and significance of specific points or ideas in your essay, ensuring that readers recognize their significance and impact on the overall argument.

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How To Use Synonyms

In this post, we will look at how to use synonyms in your writing task 2 essay. To begin with, when you paraphrase text, you read the question then rewrite it in your own words . You should not copy words straight from the question, instead change the order of the words and choose words with a similar meaning (a synonym ). This means you are using different words to write about the same idea. 

What Is A Synonym?

Choosing a synonym.

For example, one synonym of the word child is “ brat ” however, this word carries quite a negative connotation. Depending on the circumstance you can use it, but in this instance, if you just want to say that someone is young (a child) then another synonym such as “young child” or “minor” would be more applicable.

Synonym Examples

Here is a list of adjectives and their synonyms that are commonly used >>

These are just a few examples of synonyms but hopefully, you can see that working with synonyms can make your IELTS writing more varied and help you to expand your vocabulary.

Related Posts

Describe one of your friends: ielts speaking part 2 / ielts cue answer, letter to authority complaining about damaged road: semi-formal letter [ielts general writing task 1 ], leave a comment cancel reply.

Refine Your Final Word With 10 Alternatives To “In Conclusion”

  • Alternatives To In Conclusion

Wrapping up a presentation or a paper can be deceptively difficult. It seems like it should be easy—after all, your goal is to summarize the ideas you’ve already presented and possibly make a call to action. You don’t have to find new information; you just have to share what you already know.

Here’s where it gets tricky, though. Oftentimes, it turns out that the hardest part about writing a good conclusion is avoiding repetition.

That’s where we can help, at least a little bit. When it comes to using a transition word or phrase to kick off your conclusion, the phrase in conclusion is frequently overused. It’s easy to understand why—it is straightforward. But there are far more interesting and attention-grabbing words and phrases you can use in your papers and speeches to signal that you have reached the end.

One of the simplest  synonyms  of in conclusion is  in summary .  This transition phrase signals that you are going to briefly state the main idea or conclusion of your research. Like  in conclusion , it is formal enough to be used both when writing an academic paper and when giving a presentation.

  • In summary,  despite multiple experimental designs, the research remains inconclusive.
  • In summary , there is currently unprecedented interest in our new products.

A less formal version of  in summary  is  to sum up . While this phrase expresses the same idea, it's more commonly found in oral presentations rather than written papers in this use.

  • To sum up,  we have only begun to discover the possible applications of this finding.

let's review or to review

A conclusion doesn't simply review the main idea or argument of a presentation. In some cases, a conclusion includes a more complete assessment of the evidence presented. For example, in some cases, you might choose to briefly review the chain of logic of an argument to demonstrate how you reached your conclusion. In these instances, the expressions  let's review  or  to review  are good signposts.

The transition phrases  let's review  and  to review  are most often used in spoken presentations, not in written papers. Unlike the other examples we have looked at,  let's review  is a complete sentence on its own.

  • Let's review.  First, he tricked the guard. Then, he escaped out the front door.
  • To review:  we developed a special kind of soil, and then we planted the seeds in it.

A classy alternative to in conclusion , both in papers and presentations, is in closing . It is a somewhat formal expression, without being flowery. This transition phrase is especially useful for the last or penultimate sentence of a conclusion. It is a good way to signal that you are nearly at the bitter end of your essay or speech. A particularly common way to use in closing is to signal in an argumentative piece that you are about to give your call to action (what you want your audience to do).

  • In closing, we should all do more to help save the rainforest.
  • In closing, I urge all parties to consider alternative solutions such as the ones I have presented.

in a nutshell

The expression in a nutshell is a cute and informal metaphor used to indicate that you are about to give a short summary. (Imagine you're taking all of the information and shrinking it down so it can fit in a nutshell.) It's appropriate to use in a nutshell both in writing and in speeches, but it should be avoided in contexts where you're expected to use a serious, formal register .

  • In a nutshell, the life of this artist was one of great triumph and great sadness.
  • In a nutshell, the company spent too much money and failed to turn a profit.

The expression in a nutshell can also be used to signal you've reached the end of a summarized story or argument that you are relating orally, as in "That's the whole story, in a nutshell."

[To make a] long story short

Another informal expression that signals you're about to give a short summary is to make a long story short , sometimes abbreviated to simply long story short. The implication of this expression is that a lengthy saga has been cut down to just the most important facts. (Not uncommonly, long story short is used ironically to indicate that a story has, in fact, been far too long and detailed.)

Because it is so casual, long story short is most often found in presentations rather than written papers. Either the full expression or the shortened version are appropriate, as long as there isn't an expectation that you be formal with your language.

  • Long story short, the explorers were never able to find the Northwest Passage.
  • To make a long story short, our assessments have found that there is a large crack in the foundation.

If using a transitional expression doesn't appeal to you, and you would rather stick to a straightforward transition word, you have quite a few options. We are going to cover a couple of the transition words you may choose to use to signal you are wrapping up, either when giving a presentation or writing a paper.

The first term we are going to look at is ultimately . Ultimately is an adverb that means "in the end; at last; finally." Typically, you will want to use it in the first or last sentence of your conclusion. Like in closing , it is particularly effective at signaling a call to action.

  • Ultimately, each and every single person has a responsibility to care about this issue.
  • Ultimately, the army beat a hasty retreat and the war was over.

Another transition word that is good for conclusions is lastly , an adverb meaning "in conclusion; in the last place; finally." Lastly can be used in informational or argumentative essays or speeches. It is a way to signal that you are about to provide the last point in your summary or argument. The word lastly is most often used in the first or last sentence of a conclusion.

  • Lastly, I would like to thank the members of the committee and all of you for being such a gracious audience.
  • Lastly, it must be noted that the institution has not been able to address these many complaints adequately.

The word overall is particularly good for summing up an idea or argument as part of your conclusion. Meaning "covering or including everything," overall is a bit like a formal synonym for "in a nutshell."

Unlike the other examples we have looked at in this slideshow, it is not unusual for overall to be found at the end of a sentence, rather than only at the beginning.

  • Overall, we were very pleased with the results of our experiment.
  • The findings of our study indicate that there is a lot of dissatisfaction with internet providers overall.

asking questions

Using traditional language like the options we have outlined so far is not your only choice when it comes to crafting a strong conclusion. If you are writing an argumentative essay or speech, you might also choose to end with one or a short series of open-ended or leading questions. These function as a creative call to action and leave the audience thinking about the arguments you have made.

In many cases, these questions begin with a WH-word , such as who or what. The specifics will vary spending on the argument being made, but here are a few general examples:

  • When it comes to keeping our oceans clean, shouldn't we be doing more?
  • Who is ultimately responsible for these terrible mistakes?

on a final note

Before we wrap up, we want to leave you with one last alternative for in conclusion . The expression on a final note signals that you are about to give your final point or argument. On a final note is formal enough to be used both in writing and in speeches. In fact, it can be used in a speech as a natural way to transition to your final thank yous.

  • On a final note, thank you for your time and attention.
  • On a final note, you can find more synonyms for in conclusion here.

The next time you are working on a conclusion and find yourself stuck for inspiration, try out some of these expressions. After all, there is always more than one way to write an ending.

No matter how you wrap up your project, keep in mind there are some rules you don't always have to follow! Let's look at them here.

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Emphasize Synonyms & Antonyms: List of 30+

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30+ synonyms for emphasize

Are you looking to drive home a point?

Do you need to stress how important something is?

Will your writing highlight certain ideas and statements?

Then you're probably looking to emphasize something.

In this article, we'll explore how you can emphasize ideas in your writing, and give you 30+ emphasize synonym & antonym options. Let's get started.

What Are Some Synonyms for Emphasize?

The a–z list of emphasize synonyms, how do i emphasize points in my writing, what are some antonyms of emphasize.

We've already seen some alternatives for emphasize in the examples above. We'll look at their specific definitions, and then list some more alternatives.

5 alternatives to emphasize

What Does it Mean to Drive Something Home?

This doesn't mean putting something in your car and driving it to your house.

Instead, the phrase "drive home" uses the verb to drive in the sense of moving something forward by force. Home here means the final place something will land or arrive—its intended position.

When you drive a point home, you are putting effort into making people understand something clearly by describing it in detail, using lots of examples, or repeating it many times.

"Drive home" is usually used when talking about emphasizing ideas.

Can also mean: Instill; Establish

How Do You Stress the Importance of Something?

This one is similar to drive home, and is also mostly used when referring to ideas.

You've probably heard of stress as a feeling. When you feel stressed, all of your thoughts turn to the thing you are stressed about.

Similarly, when you stress something, you make sure people understand how important it is

Can also mean: Repeat; Underline; Play up; Dwell on

What Does Accentuate Mean?

Accentuate is a visual word, but it can also be used for ideas.

To accentuate something is to indicate its importance by centering attention on it. You place an accent on the thing you want to focus attention on.

While you might use "stress" to describe emphasizing something urgent or worrying, "accentuate" can be more neutral or positive.

You wouldn't "wear a corsage to stress the color of your date's dress," but you could "wear a corsage to accentuate the color of your date's dress."

In this scenario, accentuate can also mean "complement"—to positively emphasize a desirable feature of something.

accentuate definition

Normally, something accentuates something else. For example:

She used the data in the table to accentuate her point about decomposition rates.

In this example, to accentuate means to add an extra layer of meaning to something.

Can also mean: Highlight; Complement; Accent

Is Prioritize the Same as Emphasize?

When used to mean "put something first", prioritize is a synonym of emphasize.

The graphic designer prioritized the title on the page.

This means the designer made the title larger, gave it more space—or otherwise emphasized it.

Can also mean: Give precedence to

Why Would You Reiterate Something?

To reiterate means to repeat a point you've made before, maybe in a different way to make sure people have understood it.

I must reiterate that it is of the utmost importance that you don't open the box.

Can also mean: Repeat; Restate; Recapitulate

The examples above describe just some of the ways you might want to emphasize something. The most important thing to remember when looking for a different word to use is to make sure the word you choose matches your meaning.

expanded list of other words for emphasize

The words on this list can all be used to mean "to emphasize something", but they can also be used in other ways. Check the specific definition before using a word in your writing.

  • Add weight to
  • Impress (as in, to make an impression on)
  • Labor the point
  • Make a point of
  • Recapitulate
  • Stress/Lay stress on

Looking for a way to only find relevant synonyms? Try ProWritingAid's Thesaurus Report .

The report will highlight every verb, adjective, adverb, and noun in your text and offer contextually relevant alternatives for them.

That means our AI "reads" your writing to work out what you're trying to say, and then only shows synonyms related to your meaning.

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If you want to emphasize (or drive home) a point in an essay or other piece of writing, you'll need to create a strong argument.

In an essay, you need to show how each point you make backs up that argument. One way to do this is by using transition words to link the points in your essay and show how they build on one another.

examples of transition words

Words like "consequently", "therefore", and "as a result" emphasize the cause-and-effect relationship between two points.

Using words like "furthermore", "secondly", and "since" emphasize how two points are linked together.

And if you just want to signpost that a point is particularly important, you can start your paragraph with emphasis transition words like "notably", "chiefly", and "in particular". These words tell your reader to pay special attention to these points in relation to your argument.

But what if you want to do the opposite of emphasizing something? An antonym is a word that has the opposite meaning to another word.

These words all mean to de-emphasize something:

How to Use Synonyms of Emphasize

Synonyms can help you avoid repetition and provide more specific descriptions.

But remember: words are different for a reason. All of the synonyms listed above have slightly different meanings and purposes. Before you use a word, make sure to check its exact meaning to make sure it matches what you're trying to say.

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20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers

Whether you are writing a novel, essay, article, or email, good writing is an essential part of communicating your ideas., this guide contains the 20 most important writing tips and techniques from a wide range of professional writers..

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13 Synonyms for “Through the Use of”

use synonym in essay

Are you trying to figure out another way to say “through the use of”?

Perhaps you’re worried that “through the use of” is too wordy or informal in your writing.

That’s where we come in!

This article will demonstrate how to say “through the use of” in different situations to keep your reader engaged.

Other Ways to Say “Through the Use of”

  • With the help of
  • By means of
  • By employing
  • Through the application of
  • With the aid of
  • By virtue of


  • “Through the use of” is correct but often too wordy and jarring to include in most written cases.
  • Try “via” as a formal synonym that streamlines your work and keeps the original meaning of the phrase.
  • “With the help of” is great to use as an informal alternative when you’re putting less pressure on a situation.

So, keep reading to learn different ways to say “through the use of.” We’ve touched on the best alternatives both informally and formally to show you what’s going to work.

Also, the final section will teach you whether it’s correct to use the phrase. Therefore, it might be worth skipping ahead if this is something you’re interested in learning.

Via (Formal)

Try using “via” as another word for “through the use of.”

As you can tell, it’s only one word. So, it’s a great way to streamline your writing and make it more digestible for readers.

Try using it when talking to a client . It’s an opportunity for you to break something down for them and explain how they can use one thing to do another.

Also, it’s worth looking at this email sample to learn a bit more about how to use it:

Dear Miss Tall, We are going to complete this via Zoom. Are you available to get on a call at 3 pm on Friday? All the best, Carl Sinclair

Of course, it’s not only useful in emails.

You can use it in academic writing , too. It simply lets the reader know how you plan on achieving something by explaining how you’re going to use it.

Check out how to use it in the following essay sample:

I plan on working on this via this method. It’s going to be the most effective way to ensure things go right.

With the Help of (Informal)

Another way to say “through the use of” is “with the help of.”

This time, it’s more informal. So, it works well as a more conversational alternative.

Generally, you can use this to let someone know what you plan on using to assist you with something.

It might reference a type of software or a method of some kind.

For instance, you can use it when emailing an employee . You can let them know what method you want them to use to help them complete a new project.

So, here’s a helpful email sample to show you more about it:

Hey Max, I’d like you to get to work on this with the help of the new system. I think it’s going to be the best way for you to advance. Yours, Georgia Smith

Also, you can use it in an essay . It might be worth using it as a more conversational way to let someone know that you plan to work with others to see what ideas they have.

Check out this example to learn more:

I plan to do this with the help of my team. I think they’re going to be the best way for me to advance.

Is It Correct to Say “Through the Use of”?

It is correct to say “through the use of.”

However, the phrase is a bit wordy . Therefore, most readers will find it quite jarring when you could easily use a shorter synonym that fits just as well.

With that said, it’s still correct! So, it’s still usable in formal emails.

Therefore, you can check out this sample email to learn how to say “through the use of” in a sentence:

Dear Roger, I want you to complete this through the use of our new software. Then, we can double-check that everyone works well before continuing. Kind regards, Janet Bradshaw

However, before using the phrase, you have to use the correct preposition .

Some people think it’s right to use “by” instead of “of.” However, this is not correct, so you should avoid it.

For example:

  • Correct: Through the use of
  • Incorrect: Through the use by

Before you leave us, bookmark this page! Then, you can return here when you need more synonyms for “through the use of.” You never know when we might come in handy again.

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The People Who Dismantled Affirmative Action Have a New Strategy to Crush Racial Justice

Last summer, in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard College , the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority struck down race-conscious admission programs adopted by Harvard College and the University of North Carolina as violations of the 14 th Amendment’s equal protection clause. In doing so, the court’s conservative supermajority both ignored that the Framers of the 14 th Amendment were the originators of affirmative action and turned a blind eye to entrenched racial inequalities that make a mockery of the constitutional promise of equal citizenship. Now, Edward Blum, who was behind the attack on affirmative action in the SFFA case, and other conservative litigants intent on blocking racial justice efforts have a new strategy: remake the nation’s oldest federal civil rights law, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, into a weapon to challenge private efforts to ameliorate systemic racial discrimination and to redress the racial wealth gap.

Last week, in American Alliance for Equal Rights v. Fearless Fund Management , a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11 th Circuit became the first federal court of appeals to place its imprimatur on Blum’s new tactic. In a 2–1 ruling, the court of appeals held that Fearless Fund’s grant program to provide capital funding to small businesses run by Black women violated a key federal civil rights statute that dates back to the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Known as Section 1981, this law guarantees the equal right to make and enforce contracts.

The court’s opinion, written by Judge Kevin Newsom and joined by Judge Robert Luck, both Donald Trump appointees, held that Fearless Fund’s privately financed effort to rectify the near-total exclusion of Black women from venture capital and ensure that women of color have access to the resources they need to enjoy economic freedom and succeed in business was an unlawful form of racial discrimination. Adopting a strict colorblind reading of Section 1981, Newsom insisted that permitting a grant program open only to Black women “would be anathema to the principles that underlie all antidiscrimination provisions” and preliminarily enjoined its operation.

Newsom’s majority opinion works hard to portray the result as compelled by settled legal principles, but make no mistake, Fearless Fund is a big deal: It perverts a landmark civil rights statute aimed at guaranteeing basic rights of economic citizenship to Black Americans and redressing the long shadow of enslavement, and it creates new barriers to efforts to ensure racial inclusion. Never mind that eradicating racial subordination and guaranteeing economic justice lie at the very core of Section 1981. The two Trump-appointed jurists in the majority effectively read these fundamental precepts out of the statute, holding that Black-owned companies cannot put their own private money into the work of redressing the racial wealth gap and helping to ensure the success of Black-owned companies. According to the court of appeals, Fearless Fund’s grant program must be available to white-owned businesses as well.

The colorblind reading of Section 1981 advanced by Newson’s majority opinion is profoundly antitextual. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was intentionally written in a race-conscious manner. The act declares that citizens “of every race and color … shall have the same right … to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens.” Recognizing that enslaved Black Americans never had rights to contract and property—rights essential to equal citizenship—Congress used sweeping language to ensure that persons of “every race and color” would “enjoy” the same economic freedoms as “white citizens.” The statute is not aimed at the use or consideration of race at all; instead, it uses the rights of white citizens as a baseline to guarantee to Black Americans rights of economic citizenship that white citizens have long taken for granted. Newsom quotes the relevant statutory language, but pays the text lip service.

Congress chose this text for good reason: The Reconstruction-era Civil Rights Act was critical to enforcing the 13 th Amendment, eradicating badges of slavery and ensuring that Black Americans freed from bondage were entitled to basic economic rights and enjoyment of the fruits of their labor. It came in direct response to former enslavers seeking to impose new forms of servitude and reduce Black Americans to serfdom. With these new race-conscious protections, the Reconstruction-era Civil Rights Act’s Framers insisted, “all features of slavery which are oppressive in their character, which extinguish the rights of free citizens, and which unlawfully control their liberty shall be abolished and destroyed forever.” The Fearless Fund ruling perverts the statute’s roots in securing economic justice, even as it forbids Black-led businesses from using their own money to ameliorate systemic patterns of economic exclusion and inequality.

The Congress that enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1866 knew that private efforts were crucial to racial and economic uplift. One of the singular successes of Reconstruction was the creation of the nation’s first schools and colleges for Black Americans in the South , spurred by charitable giving by abolitionists and others who devoted significant resources to education in recognition that knowledge is power. In throwing up new roadblocks to the use of private money to redress racial and economic inequality, the Fearless Fund ruling is both deeply antitextual and antihistorical.

Fearless Fund will be far from the last word on the meaning of Section 1981. As other courts consider Ed Blum’s conservative effort to rewrite that critical act, they should remember that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 sought to redress continuing badges of enslavement and to make economic justice a reality. Reconstruction’s great constitutional transformations were race-conscious to the core. In passing statutes like the Civil Rights Act of 1866, Congress understood the need for far-reaching remedies to rectify centuries of racial enslavement, oppression, and violence and to ensure some measure of economic justice to Black Americans. Getting this history right is essential to exposing the glaring flaws in conservative rulings, like Fearless Fund , and to addressing the next wave of coming cases seeking to roll back racial justice efforts.

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Build a Corporate Culture That Works

use synonym in essay

There’s a widespread understanding that managing corporate culture is key to business success. Yet few companies articulate their culture in such a way that the words become an organizational reality that molds employee behavior as intended.

All too often a culture is described as a set of anodyne norms, principles, or values, which do not offer decision-makers guidance on how to make difficult choices when faced with conflicting but equally defensible courses of action.

The trick to making a desired culture come alive is to debate and articulate it using dilemmas. If you identify the tough dilemmas your employees routinely face and clearly state how they should be resolved—“In this company, when we come across this dilemma, we turn left”—then your desired culture will take root and influence the behavior of the team.

To develop a culture that works, follow six rules: Ground your culture in the dilemmas you are likely to confront, dilemma-test your values, communicate your values in colorful terms, hire people who fit, let culture drive strategy, and know when to pull back from a value statement.

Start by thinking about the dilemmas your people will face.

Idea in Brief

The problem.

There’s a widespread understanding that managing corporate culture is key to business success. Yet few companies articulate their corporate culture in such a way that the words become an organizational reality that molds employee behavior as intended.

What Usually Happens

How to fix it.

Follow six rules: Ground your culture in the dilemmas you are likely to confront, dilemma-test your values, communicate your values in colorful terms, hire people who fit, let culture drive strategy, and know when to pull back from a value.

At the beginning of my career, I worked for the health-care-software specialist HBOC. One day, a woman from human resources came into the cafeteria with a roll of tape and began sticking posters on the walls. They proclaimed in royal blue the company’s values: “Transparency, Respect, Integrity, Honesty.” The next day we received wallet-sized plastic cards with the same words and were asked to memorize them so that we could incorporate them into our actions. The following year, when management was indicted on 17 counts of conspiracy and fraud, we learned what the company’s values really were.

  • EM Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, where she directs the executive education program Leading Across Borders and Cultures. She is the author of The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business (PublicAffairs, 2014) and coauthor (with Reed Hastings) of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention (Penguin, 2020). ErinMeyerINSEAD

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Synonyms of essays

  • as in articles
  • as in attempts
  • as in tests
  • as in tries
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Thesaurus Definition of essays

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • dissertations
  • commentaries
  • compositions
  • write - ups
  • discussions
  • prolegomena
  • expositions
  • undertakings
  • trial and errors
  • experiments
  • experimentations

Thesaurus Definition of essays  (Entry 2 of 2)

  • has a go at
  • tries one's hand (at)

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Thesaurus Entries Near essays

Cite this entry.

“Essays.” Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on essays

Nglish: Translation of essays for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of essays for Arabic Speakers

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A Word, Please: ‘Like’ can mean ‘such as,’ but why use either?

Jalapenos for sale at Mercado Gonzalez Northgate Market in Costa Mesa.

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It was January 2022, and I was frustrated by a trend I was seeing — that I kept seeing — in articles I edited: writers obsessively using “such as” when they could have opted for the shorter, simpler “like.” So I did what every American did with their frustration in 2022: I posted it on social media.

“Someday I will edit a writer who understands you can, in fact, use ‘like’ to mean ‘such as’ ...” I wrote, and below those words I posted an image of Aragorn from “Lord of the Rings” shouting “but it is not this day!”

Discussion ensued.

“Writers? I thought only editors upheld this empty fetish,” replied John McIntyre, longtime copy editor and author of “Bad Advice: The Most Unreliable Counsel Available on Grammar, Usage, and Writing.” “Someone somewhere has been propagating this rubbish.”

Writers who hadn’t worked as editors were surprised to hear it.

“Oh thank goodness,” one replied.

“Wait … you can?” replied another.

Yes, for the record: You can use “like” as a synonym of “such as” if you want to. Though 2½ years later, if my own editing work is any indication, writers still haven’t gotten the memo.

In a recent two-week period, I edited about 25 articles that used “such as” before a list of examples. Only five used “like.”

“The restaurant serves elevated pub food and satisfying eats such as hand-tossed pizzas and specialty burgers.”

SAN CLEMENTE, CA - JUNE 11: Guests enjoy lunch at Sonny's Pizza & Pasta on Thursday, June 11, 2020 in San Clemente, CA. Sonny's requires their employees to wear masks, but their guests given the option to wear one or not. The restaurant is operating at half capacity and is set up for proper social distancing . (Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Los Angeles Times)

A Word, Please: Whether you use ‘if’ or ‘whether’ depends on the context

A nonsensical grammar “rule” has developed around “if” and “whether,” but as June Casagrande explains, you can use either as long as it makes sense.

June 11, 2024

“Some studies suggest that eating chili peppers such as jalapenos can relax inflammation.”

“Wear protective clothing such as wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved shirts.”

“He became an illustrator for major magazines such as Life and National Geographic.”

“… to demonstrate qualities such as cooperation.”

None of these is wrong. But it’s a problem that the writers all seem to think they have no alternative.

A lot of grammar myths have easy-to-trace histories. This isn’t one of them. Yes, if you go back to the 1950s or so, you’ll find certain language cops telling people that “like” means “similar to.” And when something is similar to something else, they’re not one and the same. Thus, these people said, “chili peppers like jalapenos,” by definition, excludes jalapenos. It means only peppers similar to jalapenos and not jalapenos themselves. If that were true, you would be required to use “such as” anytime you wanted include jalapenos in the examples.

But it’s not true. Dictionaries define “like” as a synonym of “such as,” meaning you can use either one to set up a list of examples. If you want my opinion, “like” is better. It sounds more natural, more conversational, which makes your message more accessible to readers. In fact, in that same two-week span of editing projects, I noticed that “like” was far more popular in quotations. It rolled off the tongues of the speakers talking to the writers, but the writers themselves avoided “like.”

But if you really want to engage your reader, both “such as” and “like” can be a problem. Why? Because both these terms upstage the details that readers find most interesting.

“Wear wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts and long pants” puts the emphasis on tangible, visual things. “Clothing such as” is far less sensory.

“He became an illustrator for Life, National Geographic and other major magazines” immediately makes me think of the oversized, visually stunning Life magazine covers I used to see in the grocery store checkout lane near those gold-bordered National Geographics. “Major magazines such as …” just doesn’t make the same connection to my world. “Eating jalapenos and other chili peppers” immediately conjures an image of medium-sized green peppers, more so than “chili peppers such as” does.

So don’t hesitate to use “like” in place of “such as.” Instead, hesitate to use both. If you can lead with a specific, tangible, sensory noun, you’ll keep your reader interested.

June Casagrande is the author of “The Joy of Syntax: A Simple Guide to All the Grammar You Know You Should Know.” She can be reached at [email protected] .

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Trump Will Get the Last Word in the Debate, While Biden Picks His Podium

A coin flip won by President Biden gave him the option of picking which podium he will use or choosing the order of closing statements.

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Former President Donald J. Trump near a crowd.

By Neil Vigdor

  • June 20, 2024 Updated 3:41 p.m. ET

Former President Donald J. Trump will get the final word in CNN’s presidential debate next week, after losing a coin toss to President Biden’s campaign.

The coin flip gave Mr. Biden the option between picking which podium he wants or deciding the order of closing statements. Mr. Biden opted for the podium: he will appear on the right side of viewers’ screens.

In their two debates during the 2020 election, Mr. Biden appeared in the same position — to the left of Mr. Trump, and on viewers’ right.

Mr. Biden’s campaign did not immediately provide a comment about why he wanted to choose podium placement over speaking order, or why he prefers that placement.

During two vice-presidential debates in 2008 and 2012, Mr. Biden was in the opposite position, on the left side of viewers’ screens, and to the right of Sarah Palin , then Alaska’s Republican governor, and Paul Ryan , who later became House speaker.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump will be standing for the entire 90-minute debate, which will be begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time and will include two commercial breaks. The network’s rules bar them from interacting with campaign staff during those breaks.

Their microphones will only be turned on when it is their turn to speak, a condition that was sought by Mr. Biden’s team.

In their first debate in 2020, Mr. Biden uttered one of the more memorable lines after Mr. Trump repeatedly interrupted him. “Will you shut up, man?” he said.

There will be no in-person audience for next week’s debate, something Mr. Biden’s campaign had sought from the outset . As of Thursday, CNN confirmed that Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump would meet one-on-one, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the independent candidate, failing to meet the requirements for participation.

Reid J. Epstein contributed reporting.

Neil Vigdor covers politics for The Times, focusing on voting rights issues and election disinformation. More about Neil Vigdor


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  3. What are Synonyms and How Do You Use Synonyms in Academic Writing

    A synonym is one of two or more words of the same language that have the same or nearly the same meaning in some or all senses.1. In other words, synonyms in academic writing are words that have a similar meaning, for example, small-little, big-huge, beautiful-pretty, alter-change, difficult-challenging, etc. If you ask what are ...

  4. Use Synonyms and Other Writing Techniques to Improve Your Writing

    1: Use Synonyms (in the Right Context) 2: Rephrase an Important Idea. 3: Reorder Sentences. 4: Use Pronouns. More Help and Techniques to Improve Your English Essay Writing. Watch our video below to see an in-depth explanation of writing techniques you can use to avoid repeated words, phrases and ideas.

  5. 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

    4. That is to say. Usage: "That is" and "that is to say" can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: "Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.". 5. To that end. Usage: Use "to that end" or "to this end" in a similar way to "in order to" or "so".

  6. How To Use "Synonyms" In A Sentence: Proper Usage Tips

    2. Correct Verb Agreement: Synonyms that function as verbs must agree with their subjects in terms of tense and number. For instance, if you replace the verb "run" with its synonym "dash," you need to ensure that the subject and verb agree: "She runs every morning" becomes "She dashes every morning.". 3.

  7. How to Use Synonyms Effectively in a Sentence?

    A synonym is simply a word that means the same as the other word in question. These words may not always mean the same as the original word, but they can be closely related to it. It comes from the Greek words "syn" and "onym," which mean "together" and "name," respectively. While speaking or writing, avoid using the same words ...

  8. Say it Better: Using Synonyms as a Writer

    Here are some ways to help you in becoming an expert scribe and finally master the use of synonyms in your writing once and for all. 1. Observe and Replace. Self-awareness of what words you choose to use is the key to becoming a better writer. Observe the words or key phrases you always use. Research for alternatives.

  9. How to use a thesaurus to actually improve your writing

    When misused, a thesaurus can make writing sound flabby and over-stuffed. To improve your writing, use a thesaurus to help find and maintain the cadence of your sentence. Kevin Dickinson. If you ...

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    To do this, use any of the below words or phrases to help keep you on track. 1. Firstly, secondly, thirdly. Even though it sounds obvious, your argument will be clearer if you deliver the ideas in the right order. These words can help you to offer clarity and structure to the way you expose your ideas.

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    To find synonyms, you can use a thesaurus, which is a type of dictionary that has a list of words with the same or similar meanings. For instance, if you check the word "good," a thesaurus will offer such synonyms as "acceptable," "excellent," "marvelous," etc. There are many kinds of thesauri, from Roget's Thesaurus published ...

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    50 linking words to use in academic writing. academic writing. linkers. essay writing. thesis. ESL. English. It's very common for students to use long words they don't understand very well in their essays and theses because they have a certain idea of what academic writing should be.

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    Furthermore, synonyms can also be used when you make a thought more or less simple or complete, or more or less detailed or descriptive. For example: Going up the tall mountain was difficult. -or-. Ascending the towering, elevated mountain was easier said than done. The first sentence gets the point across to the audience.

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