A thesaurus is a type of dictionary
When looking up words for writing essays, reports, books, or articles, people will often times have a few resources handy, in order to help with writers block, creativity, grammar, and clarity. Most often, the resource list will include a regular dictionary, note cards, a thesaurus, some other reference material, or just a computer with internet access.
The best resource for writers is some form of referencing aid. So knowing that every person who sits down to write is different and will have a different reason for writing is a key concept. The next noteworthy item is that most people don't always understand their resources. A most common misunderstood resource is the thesaurus.
What is the thesaurus?
Simply put, the thesaurus is a reference book or website that list words arranged and grouped by similar meaning which can end up being as synonyms or antonyms. This is different from the dictionary because the dictionary is used to actually define, punctuate, and in some cases dictate the use of a word. A synonym is a word that has the same or similar meaning of the word being searched. The Antonym is a word that has the opposite or a contrasting meaning. In either case those similar words or those contrasting words are grouped together next to the word being searched.
Who uses a thesaurus?
Not everyone actually uses a thesaurus who writes, and this is a big problem. Writing can become drab, routine, or copied because everyone says exactly the same thing when trying to pen any one item that may be similar in topic to another. The reality is that this may also cause a supposition that the writing may be plagiarized, even though it is not. A writer could be coming up their own concept or idea, not necessary a new one, but if it is said the same way someone else said it, the words can be thought of as plagiarized. The fact is that most plagiarizing is picked up by software that is looking for groups of copied words. A thesaurus is a good way to keep this from happening.
The thesaurus is used by writers, students, teachers, researchers, journalist, or other authors. Simple writers, like content writers may be writing seven groups of writing about the same thing, having a variation of words to use is a great tool. Students need to be able to say what they are saying in a report or essay in a way that reflects their own personality. Researchers need the thesaurus to make their writing less technical and more interesting to read. Journalist are the most misunderstood group, because they are the ones to whom most ideas for words actually come. The journalists are the most creative group and have to make sure that their use is accurate in their reporting.
Why is the thesaurus important?
The thesaurus is really the second most important resource or reference material because it helps writers from becoming boring, it keeps down the instances of suspected plagiarism, and it can help understand what is truly being said. The thesaurus, while not a dictionary itself, can sometimes act in lieu of a dictionary. The thesaurus can also help define a word when a dictionary is not present, and help to better clarify which definition the author or writer may actually be meaning to use.
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