Quick Tip:
Use a Thesaurus to Strengthen Your Copy

Good copywriting is not fancy writing. But it should be precise. You should use words that mean exactly what you want them to mean.

If you’re stuck for the "right word," the easiest place to turn is the built-in thesaurus in your word processor. Here’s how to use the thesaurus in MS Word:

Type a word that’s close to the one you’re looking for. Put the cursor in the middle of the word and go to Tools (Main Menu) > Language>Thesaurus. A list of synonyms opens in another window.

If you don’t find the word that’s exactly what you’re looking for, highlight the word in the synonym list that comes closest and find a synonym for that one.

If your word processor lacks a built-in thesaurus, use the thesaurus at www.dictionary.com. There are also many good ones available in book form. If you go for one of these, make sure it’s a "dictionary style" thesaurus. One of the best available is "Synonym Finder" by Rodale Press.

Whether you use a computer or book to find the right words, remember that "simple is best." Choose shorter words, more common words, and words that do not send your prospect running for the dictionary … because he will not run to the dictionary. He will throw your letter away.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: August 22, 2005

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