Effective Technical Writing in the Information Age



Literally, an "aspect" is "the idea of a thought viewed by the mind"—in other words, a "thing." Thus, its value is highly limited; yet many writers produce vacant sentences such as "This paper will deal with many aspects of my topic," or "The problem has many aspects, and the first aspect is the most important aspect." Such sentences simply are not worth the ink (nor the electrons).

If the word "thing" is unacceptable (and it usually is), then "aspect" should be too. When you are tempted to use this word, consider alternatives that carry more specific meaning, such as "principle," "property," "factor," "dilemma," "reason," "part." Use the exact, most direct term that best conveys the sentence meaning.