Word Choice


Everyday language used in striking, original ways

Every word carries its own weight; unusual, “perfect-fit” words in spots

Words invoke sensory impressions, create vivid images


Natural language, used well; concise and clear

Strong verbs, striking word combinations (phrasing)

Words appeal to senses, create clear images


Functional, clear language used correctly; easy to understand

Vague words (fun, nice) or wordiness, but meaning is still clear

Strong moments outweigh clichés and/or overwritten text


Generally clear but imprecise language: "First thoughts"

Vague words or wordiness water down the message, but an occasional "gem" is present

Overused modifiers and weak verbs outnumber strong moments

Reader may encounter clichés or overwritten text (writing to impress)


Word choice and/or wordiness cloud message, leaving reader


Clichés, words used incorrectly, thesaurus overload

Adjective and adverb avalanche: verbs are much too weak

Reader must work hard even for general meaning


Language is not functional, and the message is buried

Apparent struggle to get words on paper

Words do not speak to reader