Citizen journalists can expand their vocabulary easily for professional results in their work. Using different words for the same definition is a difficult skill to master. But, with practice, a writer can find ways to manipulate words to their benefit. This cleverness keeps readers’ attention and has them yearning for more of your articles.
If you repeat the same word over and over, you’ll definitely lose your audience. Repetition may appear to some servers, hosts, and websites as keyword spam and you just might lose your credibility. The solution is a thesaurus. Find a different term then refer to the dictionary for its definition. Make sure you have the correct synonym before placing it into your sentences.
If you use nouns instead of pronouns, you will enrich your writing tenfold.
Instead of: “He went down there for something.”
Try this: “Dave went to the store for chips.”
Change boring verbs into concise ones. State how Dave got to the store.
“Dave rode his bicycle to the store for chips.”
That’s simple enough right? It’s amazing how many “writers” overuse pronouns. When a citizen journalist has an expanded vocabulary, even if it is basic noun knowledge, the writing improves drastically.
It’s easy to improve your vocabulary with everyday practice. There is a great book out on the market called “Vocabulary Builder.” I own one. It’s wonderful. You check it everyday for a new word. At the end of the week you take a short quiz for knowledge retention.
You can also simply look up a new word in the dictionary every day. When you communicate with others try and find ways to incorporate the new word. Help the person you’re talking to by using context clues to make new word understandable. If they are still confused, you should probably not use that word for writing. Save those complex words for your college essays.
Always use a thesaurus wisely. Just because you find a word you like listed in the “storehouse” of words, it doesn’t mean that you should always use that particular word. Check the meaning in the dictionary, like I previously stated. Make sure you know what you’re writing.
For example, when I look up the term “outlet” in the thesaurus, I find the synonyms “avenue” and “vent.” These two words have very different meanings even though they are similar. Be careful when selecting words and always know their definitions.
Another easy way to build your vocabulary to use in your journalism is to listen to the radio. Not just any radio station, but either talk or news radio. These programs rely on clever wording to speak to the masses. Listen for a new word from the reporters each day. Then look it up in the dictionary. Write down the definition. Now, look it up in the thesaurus and see how many different synonyms are listed. Read them. Listen to the news reports and try and discover techniques they use for words to keep the listener engaged. Employ these approaches into your own language and work.
How does all of this improve citizen journalism? By giving your work the meticulous attention it deserves, you are presenting a polished piece. Subtle word changes make a huge difference in a writer and a good writer. Improving your writing gives you the upper hand over the competition and helps build your reputation as a professional in your field.