Thesaurus Distortion

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Have students review the section of the handbook on choosing words and/or tone. Then, either in a computer classroom or at home, have them choose a key sentence from their drafts and use a thesaurus (book or electronic form) to replace every significant word in the sentence (perhaps even multiple times). Bring these altered sentences in for a discussion of how/if they still work. Use the handbook to begin a discussion on how word choice impacts tone and meaning, and then continue that discussion by looking at the word choices in the current reading.
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About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.