Having completed the above practices exercises, you should be more sensitive to the word choices, or at least have acquired the habit of asking yourself ‘is this the most suitable word for this context and what feeling I’m trying to convey?’. Follow the suggestions below to continue your effort to improve your skills.
- Make sure you really understand and appreciate the importance of using the most suitable word for both care meaning and connotation. In academic research publishing, just because your paper has already been accepted doesn’t mean there is no room for improvement. This is particularly the case for prestigious and other high-ranking journals.
- Read books authored by native writers of English. Of course you read many journal papers, but extend beyond that and broaden your reading materials to include stories, novels and journalistic articles. A good habit to nurture your word-choosing skills is to read more books with high context and connotations like novels. Novels tend to be more engaging and can keep your attention for longer, whilst the character dialogues and expansive sentences give you much more context to understand the word choices that have been made.In short, it’s difficult to improve your word-choosing skills from reading journal papers alone.
- Still, continue to read journal papers, but focus on papers by native speakers from top-tier journals because you know the authors have paid more attention to refined language usage. Use the analytical approach you learnt in this chapter and consider about why certain words were chosen, then discuss and confirm your thoughts with native speakers.
- When you have a word choice question, try to pose the question to a trained native speaker as well as other native or English speakers. By comparing their answers or suggestions you will learn faster and appreciate the importance of word choice.
- Have your paper edited by trained editors who are native speakers of English. Avery useful service Uni-edit provides is the TARGET TUTOR service where the editor provides further explanations regarding language usage. This allows you to compare and learn much faster.Then you’ll be able to write more accurately and faster on your future papers.