Creative Writing – Dictionaries and Thesaurus

Creative Writing – Resources for Writers

Dictionary and Thesaurus resources for creative writersWhether you’re penning an ode to a loved one, writing a story or thinking of taking part in this years Nanowrimo (which we talked about last week), as a writer it only makes sense to take advantage of the wealth of tools, resources and other sources of advice and information available to all across the Internet.   Here’s a couple of the internet resources for creative writing that we think are essential to any aspiring, or even professional, writer.

Dictionaries and Thesaurus

Essential tools for any writer, what used to be some of the most immense books in a professional writers collection can be reduced to a convenient app that settles nicely on any tablet, PC or mobile.  Dictionaries are reference books that give you the definition of different words – always important if you aren’t quite sure what a word means.

Thesauruses, however, give you alternative words and phrases you can use in place of others you might be considering.  This is essential for good writing – nothing makes a piece more boring than the constant repetition of the same words.  Indeed, instead of good writing you could say:

  • Great writing
  • Masterful Writing
  • Skillful Writing

Online Dictionaries – a List

Here’s a list of several sources worth keeping bookmarked once you find your favourite source for on-the-go web definitions.

Oxford English Dictionary:   Often regarded as the authoritative dictionary for UK English, it does require a subscription to use.   Some UK customers may be able to get access through their local library for free.  If you can get access to it, the OED provides one of the most indepth sources, not just for word definitions but also for understanding the origin and history of words over time, making it a truly fascinating resource for word lovers

Cambridge Dictionaries OnlineThe eternal rivalry between the two most highly regarded seats of British learning expands beyond the annual boat race into online dictionaries.  The offering from Cambridge is also a comprehensive resource for English users, even expanding into translation into other languages in some cases, and well worth consideration by any writer.

Merriam-Webster:  Often regarded as the standard reference source for writers of American English, Merriam Webster is another high quality reference source which, given the prevalence of American influence throughout the Internet, is well worth considering if you are intending to write for audiences located west of the Atlantic.  It also offers thesaurus and other services.

Dictionary.com An Internet dictionary founded for the internet age – dictionary.com boasts a comprehensive research for all things word related, including fascinating articles relating to words and their use as well as other tools such as thesaurus’ and translators.  Most valuable of all, the URL to get there is really easy – it’s hard not to remember dictionary.com

Have you got a great dictionary resource we haven’t included here?  Let us know! 

Alongside our range of 500+ courses, ADL also offers a range or writing courses for those who need to brush up on their writing skills.  From creative writing to writing for children to academic writing, we have a comprehensive range of courses to address most needs.  Visit our course list for journalism and writing to learn more.

Have you got a great dictionary resource we haven’t included here?  Let us know below! 

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