Effective writing involves making conscious choices with words. When you prepare to sit down to write your first draft, you likely have already completed some freewriting exercises, chosen your topic, developed your thesis statement, written an outline, and even selected your sources. When it is time to write your first draft, start to consider which words to use to best convey your ideas to the reader.
Some writers are picky about word choice as they start drafting. They may practice some specific strategies, such as using a dictionary and thesaurus, using words and phrases with proper connotations, and avoiding slang, clichs, and overly general words.
Once you understand these tricks of the trade, you can move ahead confidently in writing your assignment. Remember, the skill and accuracy of your word choice is a major factor in developing your writing style. Precise selection of your words will help you be more clearly understoodin both writing and speaking. (15.3 Word Choice, n.d., paras. 13)
In this discussion on writing, you will utilize two of the most beneficial resources for effective business writers: a dictionary and a thesaurus, as well as tap into popular and scholarly research to consider the words contained in the Virtuous Business Modeland with good reasonto critically assess the word choices. After all, whether in one-on-one discussions or group discussions, speeches, or written communicationwe all must choose our words well.
Upon successful completion of this discussion, you will be able to:
The Discerning Reader and Writer
Even professional writers need help with the meanings, spellings, pronunciations, and uses of particular words. In fact, they rely on dictionaries to help them write better. No one knows every word in the English language and their multiple uses and meanings, so all writers, from novices to professionals, can benefit from the use of dictionaries.
Look at the following sample dictionary entry and see which of the preceding information you can identify:
myth, mith, n. [Gr. mythos, a word, a fable, a legend.] A fable or legend embodying the convictions of a people as to their gods or other divine beings, their own beginnings and early history and the heroes connected with it, or the origin of the world; any invented story; something or someone having no existence in fact.
myth ic, myth i cal
Like a dictionary, a thesaurus is another indispensable writing tool. A thesaurus gives you a list of synonyms, words that have the same (or very close to the same) meaning as another word. It also lists antonyms, words with the opposite meaning of the word. A thesaurus will help you when you are looking for the perfect word with just the right meaning to convey your ideas. It will also help you learn more words and use the ones you already know more correctly.
precocious, adj., Shes such a precocious little girl!: uncommonly smart, mature, advanced, smart, bright, brilliant, gifted, quick, clever, apt.
Ant. slow, backward, stupid. (15.3 Word Choice, n.d., paras. 13)
Do words amaze you? If not so much, or if you havent really given any thought to it before now, consider this:
Perhaps what is MOST AMAZING of all is that with just 26 letters in the alphabet, we each have our own way of saying thingsthe way we communicate in speech and writing. We truly have a voice all our own. Yes, we have a voice in print much like we have in sound when we speak. That is why people can sometimes recognize the work of an author they are familiar with just by reading a few lines of text. (An instructor also recognizes the voice of their students, even in print.) And to think we can conduct a plagiarism checker comparing one persons written work against thousands and thousands of written works by others with some written texts being hundreds of years old and all from the construct of just 26 words. It boggles the mind! We now begin to fathom how significant it is that we each have a knack of uniquely crafting our sentences and selecting the words that form them.
How regularly do you access a dictionary, in print or online? When did you last use a thesaurusin print or the tool located in Word? The two resources will be highly indispensable when writing your applied doctoral project consulting report. And while there may be exceptions, typically, neither resource should be used to replace any formal words that are specific to a theory, model, academic concept, or business practice. When using the example of a formal theory name, Adams equity theory would not be replaced with Adams impartiality theory or Adams fairness theory even though the substituted words have similar meanings. Rather, when looking at a theory, model, academic concept or business practice, we should build on the work of other researchersespecially if we aim to alter the wording or its meaning in some way. There should be a valid reason for making changes to formal social science constructsincluding the conceptual model known as the Virtuous Business Model.
Consistency of word and definition use is beneficial for comparative purposes in research. There are times, however, when it may be necessary to revise previously accepted definitions to advance knowledge. In fact, alterations in definitions often indicate progression but, of course, they may also merely indicate differences in research findings or differences of authorial opinion. For this assignment, you are going to progress in your critical thinking and writing skills by taking a close look at the Virtuous Business Model and, particularly, the words making up the model. As you look at the model, ask the following:
You are invited to think critically about the VBM and the word choices comprising it.
Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). How many words are there in English?
The eight parts of speech. (n.d.). Butte College.