Skip To Content

Athabasca University


A clear and engaging writing style is the mark of an excellent writer. What is style? At its most basic, it is the way a writer uses and combines words and sentences to achieve a certain effect. Style can include

  • diction (word choice)
  • sentence structure and syntax
  • use of figurative language
  • use of rhythm and sounds and
  • rhetorical patterns (e.g. narration, description, comparison-contrast, etc.)

The resources in this section will help you both understand more about what style is and how to develop your own.

Writing Style

Passive Voice



  • Idioms, by Athabasca University
  • Diction, by the University of Ottawa

Word Use

Connotation and Denotation

A Collection of Homonyms, and Common Word Use Errors, Arranged Alphabetically

Vocabulary and Spelling

Updated July 13 2016 by Student & Academic Services

AU, CANADA'S OPEN UNIVERSITY, is an internationally recognized leader in online and distance learning.