Jon Morrow knows about blogging and writing, and he wants to make you and your students the best you can be. How? By using Power Words.

Here’s what he says in his article 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer about making writing impactful in our everyday mediums, and why it’s important:

“Sure, taking the reader on an emotional roller coaster ride is essential in novels and short stories, but what about emails, resumes, blog posts, proposals? They’re all designed to influence the reader in some way. You want to pass along information, yes, but you also want the reader to feel a certain way about that information.

Maybe you want to impress them, get them excited, make them cautious, get them angry, encourage them to keep going, or any number of emotions. The better a job you do at making them feel, the more influential you are, and the better your chances of getting what you want.”

Jon says that in order to “take up residence in the mind of the reader,” power words are an essential tool for impactful and memorable writing. He goes on to quote Winston Churchill and one of his greatest speeches, and the clear power words Churchill employs to rally the British citizens are in bold. He encourages us to consider the feeling we get from each of these words:

“We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the darklamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victoryvictory at all costs, victory in spite of all terrorvictory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”

The Power Words Lists: A Brief Overview

As a teacher, Morrow is constantly being asked by his students where these power words can be referenced from. In response, he spent weeks piecing together a catalogue of words in different categories, which you can access at his original post on Boost Blog Traffic. In the meantime, here’s a few teasers to get you going.

  • Agony
  • Apocalypse
  • Armageddon
  • Assault
  • Backlash
  • Beating
  • Beware
  • Blinded
  • Blood
  • Bloodbath
  • Bloodcurdling
  • Bloody
  • Bomb
  • Buffoon
  • Bumbling
  • Cadaver
  • Catastrophe
  • Caution
  • Collapse
  • Corpse
  • Crazy
  • Cripple
  • Crisis
  • Danger
  • Deadly
  • Death
  • Destroy
  • Devastating
  • Disastrous
  • Drowning
  • Dumb
  • Embarrass
  • Fail
  • Feeble
  • Fired
  • Fool
  • Fooled
  • Frantic
  • Frightening
  • Gambling
  • Gullible
  • Hack
  • Hazardous
  • Hoax
  • Holocaust
  • Horrific
  • Hurricane
  • Insidious
  • Invasion
  • IRS
  • Jail
  • Jeopardy
  • Lawsuit
  • Looming
  • Lunatic
  • Lurking
  • Meltdown
  • Mired
  • Mistake
  • Murder
  • Nightmare
  • Painful
  • Pale
  • Panic
  • Peril
  • Piranha
  • Pitfall
  • Plague
  • Played
  • Plummet
  • Plunge
  • Poison
  • Pummel
  • Poor
  • Prison
  • Pus
  • Reckoning
  • Refugee
  • Risky
  • Scary
  • Scream
  • Searing
  • Shatter
  • Shellacking
  • Silly
  • Slaughter
  • Slave
  • Smash
  • Strangle
  • Stupid
  • Suck
  • Tailspin
  • Tank
  • Targeted
  • Teetering
  • Terror
  • Terrorist
  • Toxic
  • Trap
  • Vaporize
  • Victim
  • Volatile
  • Vulnerable
  • Warning
  • Worry
  • Wounded

More Power Words for Writing Projects

You can view the rest of Jon Morrow’s Power Word lists by visiting his original post. These are all words that students will find very useful as reference tools to boost their writing into higher levels of reader response and engagement.

He has compiled a number of different lists that are aimed at evoking specific feelings and responses. Some of his lists include:

Give Your Readers a Pep Talk … because everyone needs a little motivation sometimes.

Take a Page from Cosmopolitan (or Playboy) … for exploring sensuality and deeper human emotions in prose.

Start a Riot … because, as Morrow claims, sometimes it’s a writers job to get people riled up.

Stomp on Their Greed Glands … for the budding marketing and advertising execs in your classroom!

Make Them Feel Safe … for establishing a sense of trust within your readers.

Offer Them a Forbidden Fruit … for our fascination with the mysterious, and for all things off-limits.

Additional Reading

297 Flabby Words and Phrases That Rob Your Writing of All Its Power

20 Rules for Writing So Crystal Clear Even Your Dumbest Relative Will Understand

7 Simple Edits That Make Your Writing 100% More Powerful

Read the full article 317 Power Words That’ll Instantly Make You a Better Writer by Jon Morrow, CEO of Boost Blog Traffic.



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