Conventions of Composition Rule 217

Rule: Avoid cliches.


Weak: What a fire-cracker: she's really thinking outside the box with all cylinders firing.

Better: She has so much energy that she quickly discovers new, better ways of doing thing.

Weak: Wei is a one-of-a-kind friend.

Better: I haven't met anybody as loyal and kind as Wei.

Practice eliminating cliches:

  1. He recommended that I take the 30,000 foot view and then give it the old college try.
  2. We didn't really see eye to eye, so I did my own thing.
  3. Last, but not least, I think the world of my better half.

Resources for understanding and eliminating cliches:

Writer's Digest's 10 Tips to Avoid Cliche's in Writing

The Writing Center at UNC-Chapel Hill's Cliches