Grammar Menu
Choosing Words Correctly

This page was composed by a credentialed teacher in California who loves Jesus. "The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." 1 Timothy 1:14


Writing takes careful planning and effort. Be careful to express yourself clearly and concisely in writing. Proofread all correspondences very carefully; check them twice, meticulously. Careful thought and diligence are necessary because what you write can make a permanent impression.

When communicating in writing it's often important to write complete sentences that express complete thoughts. Write everything you have to say about a topic before moving on to the next topic. Don't switch back and forth between topics, but carefully lead into the next topic.

We switch back and forth between topics in everyday conversations, but doing so in writing requires the reader of a composition or e-mail to spend excess mental energy sorting things out. Foremost, we should keep in our minds the reader.

Beyond writing letters and e-mails: Writing Compositions and Papers

There are different ways to generate ideas.

One way to generate ideas is to just start writing on the topic. At first, don't feel constrained by format issues. Don't worry about spelling, grammar, or writing in complete sentences. Just "brainstorm," that is, write down everything you can think of that might relate to the topic, freely. This way there is a free flow of ideas written down that state and support your thoughts on the topic. It's likely that a line of thought will emerge that is worth exploring. After doing this your ideas can be clustered together and better organized.

Thesis statement

Write a statement that allows your supporting thoughts to adhere to it. This is a thesis statement that states, generally, how you feel about the topic. After your thesis statement, you present particular instances or details which support the statement.

Developing and organizing ideas

Organize your thoughts on the topic using some type of graphic illustration. This can be an outline, or it can be as simple as circles and lines that connect your thoughts. The graphic you have created organizes and illustrates how ideas connect to each other, and it allows you to come to a conclusion. As a general rule, make a paragraph a unit of composition: one paragraph to each topic. A paragraph should be unified around a main point. The main point should be clear to the readers, and all the sentences in the paragraph must relate to it. Organize your thoughts from the graphic you've created in a way that best supports your thesis statement.

Things to avoid:

Don't confuse the reader by needlessly switching verb tenses.
Don't be "wordy" in your writing which wastes space and time. Don't make the reader struggle through stretched-out sentences.
Avoid "fluffy" words such as absolutely, really, definitely, etc.

Things to do:

Streamline your writing for effectiveness (Again, be clear and concise for meaning). Delete unnecessary words, or structure your sentences to avoid them.

Write in the active voice rather than the passive voice. An example of the passive voice: The entrance exam was failed by one-third of the applicants to the school. An example of the active voice: One-third of the applicants to the school failed the exam. In the active voice, the subject of a sentence is the source of the action in the sentence. Using an active voice for the majority of your sentences makes your meaning clear for readers, and keeps the sentences from becoming too complicated or wordy.

Strive to make your writing as precise as possible. Write carefully choosing words that help to transmit exact meaning.

Bible Verse of the Day

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