Diction is word choice, and the most basic way to talk about diction is to note two kinds: formal and informal. There are lots of different levels of formality and informality, but when proofreading an academic paper, keep in mind that it’s better to err on the side of being formal than of being informal. Imagine that you are reading your paper to someone older than you, someone you really respect and want to impress. If what you are writing is not an academic paper, then you should pay attention to finding the diction that is most appropriate for what you want to communicate. Once again: purpose and audience.
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