What's in a Word?

Contributor: Rebecca Hann. Lesson ID: 10798

"Words mean things." That seems obvious, but the right choice of words when writing isn't always so clear. Watch practical videos, read some classic excerpts, and develop a more prodigious vocabulary!



English / Language Arts
learning style
personality style
Lion, Otter
Grade Level
Middle School (6-8)
Lesson Type
Skill Sharpener

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Quixotic. Esoteric. Capricious. Vermillion. There are so many interesting-sounding words, and they can help make your writing more engaging for readers. You don't want your writing to be "blah," so let's learn how to choose expressive, impressive words!

In the first Related Lesson of this series, found in the right-hand sidebar, we talked about how using different types of sentences is one of the things that authors do to make their writing more interesting to readers.

The way a writer writes is known as Author's Craft. There are many techniques that are part of Author's Craft; some of them are structural and some are stylistic.

One technique writers use is word choice. Word choice is when a writer carefully selects vocabulary to create a specific effect. This may be to set the tone or mood, or to influence the reader's opinion of a character.

Watch the following videos for a review of Author's Craft and more information about word choice:

Lester L. Laminack: Cracking Open the Author's Craft

Word Choice & Word meaning. Video 1.2

Word Choice by Shmoop

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