DictionContributed by Theodore Roman on 08 February 2008 at 15:39
This past week, I've had a chance to reflect on the writing strategies that I use most often. Often, I have a natural tendency to want to sound "scholarly". In other words, I use far too many words and far too formal diction. When I realize this is happening, though, I slow down, reread my paper, and look to write as though I were talking to a friend who didn't know the subject matter at hand. I've also encouraged many visitors to do the same. However, be warned: informal speech isn't always acceptable. Sometimes precise, high diction works best. The secret is knowing which diction is more appropriate for a specific prompt.