Lexical Cohesion, Word Choice and Synonymy in Academic Writing
AbstractThis paper discusses the importance of lexical cohesion and word choice in the process of writing. Special attention is paid to lexical synonymy, as a useful and productive tool for increasing cohesion in a piece of writing. A review of studies and approaches to cohesion is followed by a thorough analysis of the role of lexical synonymy in the writing process. Contrary to some beliefs about the risk of synonymy in writing, the paper endeavors to show that correct use of synonyms can add color and accuracy to the text. However, the language user needs to be fully aware of the fact that selecting the right synonym in a given context requires knowledge of all semantic dimensions of the word, which thesauruses alone cannot sometimes give. The paper aims to show that synonyms should be employed by writers as they can perform a number of important functions such as showing the right scale of intensity and level of formality. Moreover, they help writers with accuracy of expression.
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