How to Avoid Cliché Phrases in Your Writing Essay

Ways to Avoid Using Clichés While Writing

Let’s be honest, every person that works with writing uses clichés. Sometimes, we include such phrases in our texts without even noticing. The reason we usually do this is simple – clichés let us express ideas and thoughts in a simplified manner. Striving to create clear texts that are easy to understand, we risk losing originality and richness of our language, our essay writing service will help you to avoid such mistakes.

Using clichés is not a big problem. Everyone does this. However, when your texts are overloaded with them, the content becomes boring. Readers have a feeling that they have already heard and read this a thousand times before. We bet that you don’t want your audience to perceive you as a lazy author that doesn’t even try to invent something exciting and appealing in the way he/she writes. And what is even more critical – clichéd plots and language prevent you from growing as a professional and becoming a better author. Let’s discuss some ways to deal with this issue. We will discuss some common phrases and provide suggestions on how to replace them.

That needs no saying

The phrase “that needs no saying” clearly identifies that something you are going to say is unnecessary. So why should you? The simplest logic suggests that such a phrase doesn’t make any sense at all. When using this speech pattern, the authors want to express something obvious. In some cases, writers include this phrase to strengthen their arguments and sound more convincing. In a word, they usually appeal to common reasoning.

If you do want to say something worth saying, then just do it. Or try some other phrases like:

  • It is generally accepted
  • Obviously
  • Plainly speaking
  • Naturally

To tell the truth

Your audience expects that you are honest when talking to them through your texts. However, if you really are honest, then why should you highlight this? When you include such a pattern in your speech, it is automatically suggested that you might be dishonest.

Authors use this cliché to pinpoint that they talk about something that is not commonly-accepted, but we should admit that it is true. Hot takes are great, so there is nothing wrong when you give your readers something negative or unpopular (in some cases, this might make you even more interesting as a writer and thinker). However, the phrase “to be honest” can make the opposite effect. Using it in your speech, you automatically claim that being critical is problematic. But it is not! As a result, your attempts to make your language stronger amount to nothing. Replace this cliché with something like this:

  • My opinion is unpopular, but
  • Actually
  • In truth
  • In fact

Again, you should think twice before using phrases like “to tell the truth.” Do you really need them? Sometimes, it is much better to get to the point without any preludes.

Time is of the essence

Everyone knows that time is of the essence. We usually use such a phrase to express that something requires special attention and immediate actions. Instead of using such a formal language, try being more engaging with your readers. If you want to express a necessity to hurry, use the following synonyms:

  • Hasten
  • Dash
  • Rocket

Boys will be boys

Today, when the feministic trend becomes more and more prevailing, conversations about toxic masculinity flood the web. The clichéd phrase “boys will be boys” is something we need to abandon because it is not just overused, but also critically stereotypical. It indicates that men are antisocial and tough people. Such phrases are controversial and illogical when you stand on the positions of equality and express a necessity to avoid judgments about people basing on their gender.

The cliché “boys will be boys” denies the idea that men can be better and behave differently. What is more, this phrase is empty – you don’t make any specific statements, but claim that things are the way they are. This is not informative or argumentative. If you want to describe or justify something in human behavior, make concrete examples. Explain yourself instead of using something as senseless as “boys will be boys.”  Try something like:

  • Muddle
  • Goof up
  • Botch
  • Bungle

However, as we have already said, being specific and informative is much better than placing an empty phrase in your text. Show details, be concrete and tell stories. 

For all intents and purposes

“For all intents and purposes” is one of the most overused clichés ever. Another negative thing about this phrase is that it is too wordy. This is a bit overcomplicated way of saying “in effect” or “in any sense.” As you understand, wordy sentences don’t make your texts any better, so we suggest using other expressions instead of this one. For example:

  • Essentially
  • In effect
  • In essence
  • Fundamentally

In any case, there is no sense in using wordy phrases when you have shorter equivalents!

To be the devil’s advocate

A pretty outdated and extremely annoying cliché “to be devil’s advocate” is one of those phrases that make you sigh when you hear it. The phrase means that you want to keep a distance between your expressions and your personality. However, if you’re going to stay on a distance, why would you make an argument like that? You should stand behind it. When you make a point, it means something to you, so distancing is not an option. Stop using this phrase or avoid argumentation that is not related to you anyhow.

At the same time, to stay objective, you may need to highlight the point of view that is opposite to yours. You may say:

  • One can also argue that
  • Taking the other/opposite position
  • Inverse
  • Antithesis
  • Flipside

And the main question you should ask yourself before using this clichéd phrase is: do you really think that a devil needs an advocate?


Avoiding clichés is not only about making your text richer and expressing ideas more originally. Most of the clichéd phrases discussed above are used to hide the author’s personality behind the words. What is more, some of them are empty expressions, and you don’t really need them in your speech. They can make your readers bored, while your image as a writer will seem dull and lazy. Don’t oversimplify your language with widely-used phrases, especially when they don’t make any sense. Write in a specific and concise language, and don’t be afraid to express your opinions. Happy writing!