USE or recommended descriptor

Use a thesaurus

Like a dictionary, a thesaurus can help you expand the way you talk about your topic. A thesaurus contains groupings of words collected according to their meaning. Here’s how you can use a thesaurus in a research paper:

  • Choose a word as a starting point.
  • Just like in a dictionary, look up the word in alphabetical order.
  • Once the word is found, look at the words that appear next to the main word.
  • Select another word.
  • Choose another word that serves as a replacement for the one that was your starting point.

You can also find a section in a thesaurus that allows you to see which words are the direct opposite of the word you used as your starting point. This process works the same way, so follow the steps above, except in the last step, choose a word that functions as an antonym of the word you started with.

Using a thesaurus can be part of using a dictionary, as many online dictionaries include these words at the end of the definitions. This speeds up the process of finding the right word for your needs.

How to use a thesaurus for research

There are several ways to use a thesaurus for your research needs.

  • For writing papers: When writing a paper, you may want to use different words. If there is a word that doesn’t seem to fit or you realize you have used the same word more than once, it may be helpful to use a thesaurus to find out what other words might be appropriate to include.
  • Speech creation:
  • As many speeches use a theme to hold the content together, it can be helpful to use a thesaurus to create a speech that uses similar words, but not the same word. This speech will keep the audience’s attention without losing the message you want to get across.
  • Seeking new ideas: Seeking new ideas is a great way to keep your audience’s attention.
  • Search for new research ideas:
  • When you first research a topic that you find confusing, look up the main idea in a thesaurus. You may find that there are other meanings and words that appeal to you and make you think of a direction to go.
  • Learn the meaning of a word: If you don’t have a dictionary handy, a thesaurus can help. By looking up the word you need to know, you’ll find other words related to your topic.
  • Writing poetry: Many poets use thesauruses to help choose new words for their poems. These words will connect to a main idea and allow you to create a stronger poem because you’re not focusing on one word.
  • Rewriting a paper or article: If you have to rewrite something, sometimes adding new words will allow the article to be more exciting and effective. Sometimes it is necessary to choose a different word with almost the same meaning to create a strong result.
  • Increase the quality of the writing: It is better to write a paper that does not include the same word over and over again. A reader will be much more interested in your writing when you use a variety of words.

A thesaurus can allow you to have a greater connection with your audience, as well as a better understanding of your topic. By learning what other words you can use, you can adjust the tone of your writing or speech, which will help you be as effective as possible.



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