Blog How to Use ProWritingAid Everything You Need to Know About ProWritingAid's Diction Report

Everything You Need to Know About ProWritingAid's Diction Report

The Diction Report helps you avoid unnecessarily complicated writing by analyzing your word selection and sentence construction.

  1. How to Use The Diction Report
  2. Fix Vague Words
  3. Use Simple Phrases

How to Use The Diction Report

There are hundreds of rules to improve your language built into the ProWritingAid algorithm. Like most rules, each of these will have exceptions so use your judgement when choosing to accept or reject ProWritingAid's suggestion.

The Diction Report will highlight those sentences that are constructed in an awkward way so that you can reword them and make them easier to understand.

The Diction Report also brings attention to vague and abstract words that you can improve to make your writing more clear.

Diction Report Side Bar

Fix Vague Words

Vague words lack the clarity your readers want. Did you describe your protagonist as a tall girl? Tall is subjective: it means something completely different to a short person than it does to a tall person. You need to be more specific.

Words like more, poor, good, excellent, some, large, better, or considerable are all ambiguous. What I view as excellent may be very different from your own understanding.

Use Simple Phrases

When it comes to writing, less is more. Make every word count. If it's not essential, cut it. Too often when writers are trying to sound authoritative, they choose the wordy ways of saying something simple. Why write “has the ability to” when you can write “can”? You’re just using more words to say the same thing, which actually makes your writing much less clear.

Some other examples include:

  • at this point in time ➡ now

  • due to the fact that ➡ because

  • in order to ➡ to

  • in the event that ➡ if

  • prior to the start of ➡ before

  • has been found to be ➡ is

  • a sufficient amount of ➡ enough

  • at such time as ➡ when

  • for the reason that ➡ because

  • in close proximity to ➡ near

  • it is our opinion that ➡ we think

  • serves the function of being ➡ is

  • in the near future ➡ soon

Look through your writing for a simpler way of saying the same thing.

Have you tried ProWritingAid's Diction Report yet? What are you waiting for?

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Hayley Milliman

Hayley Milliman

Content Lead

Hayley is the Head of Learning at ProWritingAid. Prior to joining this team, Hayley spent several years as an elementary school teacher and curriculum developer in Memphis, TN. When Hayley isn't hunched over her keyboard, you can find her figure skating at the ice rink or hiking with her dog.

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This article doesn't address instances of reported vague words and phrases.
Thanks for the feedback! I'm not sure exactly what you mean - would you mind dropping us a line at so that I can offer some suggestions more tailored to your needs? :)
What do you mean by a vague word?
'Would' seems to be flagged on every use within my text. Does the vague words section of the diction report flag every occurrence of a word's use, if there is one particular rule it might violate?
That's strange. What does the suggestion say when it is flagged?
Amazingly simple but very crucial
Thank you for your feedback - we're glad we could help!
How do you write without using the word, WOULD, I'm finding this challenging. Here's one of my sentences: "Why would your husband care that you told someone about the mill?” How do I change rewrite this without would?
Hey there! Thank you for your comment. The reason for the flagging of the word 'would' is likely to ensure that the word isn't overused. For some sentences, the use of 'would' might be necessary. As always, ProWritingAid is meant to be a guide for your writing and not a total authority. :)

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