How many times have you written a sentence, then right clicked on few of the words, to use the thesaurus to make your sentence sound better? It is okay to admit it – everyone does it!
Everyone knows not to use slang and casual language in their papers because that language would be too informal. However, using fancy, elaborate, or “big” words may not help either. It is natural to want to select longer or more complex words when adopting a more formal style or when wanting to “sound smart.” However, too often the words aren’t used correctly and, even when used correctly, the writing becomes far too complicated. Remember – the key to good writing is precision. You want to make sure that what you are writing is exact and accurate or clear and concise. More words or more complex words too often takes away from that precision.
Good writing is also authentic. If you aren’t comfortable using big words, don’t. Write in a way that is comfortable for you and in a vocabulary you are comfortable with. Being clear, concise, and accurate will get you farther than filling your papers with words no one knows!