What is the Effect of Onomatopoeia?

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  • 0:04 Onomatopoeia
  • 0:36 Don't Let Your Writing Fizzle
  • 2:16 Examples
  • 2:57 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

This lesson will teach you about a fun writing technique: onomatopoeia. You will learn how to recognize and use it to increase the interest and excitement in your writing.


Whoosh, swoosh, splash! You've just landed in a lesson about the effect of onomatopoeia. What is onomatopoeia? Turns out, you have already experienced it in this lesson! Onomatopoeia is a word that sounds like or is similar to what it's describing. For example, 'tick tock' describes the sound of a clock, and 'meow' sounds just like the noise a cat makes. If you've ever had a case of the hiccups, you can see that 'hiccup' is yet another example.

Don't Let Your Writing Fizzle

Onomatopoeia is an amazing technique to add to your writing. It brings another level of interest to text because it appeals to another sense: hearing. Adding sounds through onomatopoeia can really make your writing sizzle, instead of allowing it to fizzle!

One type of writing that almost always includes onomatopoeia is in comic books. Comics have long included words like pop, bam, wham, and crack to bring the action and excitement of a comic to life. It allows the reader to do more than see or read what's happening. When a character jumps through a glass window, you can hear the glass explode, shattering and cracking all over. The splish-splash of rain on a roof or boom of thunder all add to the interest and excitement of a story.

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