Thou shalt not use words ad nauseum Writing & Grammar

Hello everyone:

One thing that beginning writers do is they use the same words over and over repeatedly. It is almost as if they have found a word they like and they cannot use it enough. (Okay, I am sometimes guilty of using the word “recalcitrant” more than I should, so I know how they feel. It’s like using the word “titillation” if you are a teen-aged boy.  Maybe you don’t even know what it means, but it sounds so…forbidden.)

So, what is to be done? Right click on your mouse and find a synonym for the word, my friend! That’s why it’s there.

In academic writing, you sometimes need to say that a certain author has stated something, so rather than write “he or she says” time and time again, try one of these words:

He argues that…

She contends …

He maintains such and such…

She claims abc and xyz….

He posits… (Note that this is a graduate-level word)

She suggests….

Do you see how things can get a whole lot more interesting by changing things up a bit?  You can vary your wording and thereby keep your professor from falling asleep while reading your document (which is a good thing).

Are there any questions you have about writing or grammar? Just ask!


Dr. Sheri



Sheri Dean Parmelee has a Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Regent University. She writes books on practical tips for people who become unexpectedly unmarried and is working on her second novel in a series of contemporary romance/suspense novels. She teaches at three colleges, working with students from freshmen to graduate students. Her hobbies include running 8 miles a day and reading biographies and fiction.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *