Word arrangement and word treatment
In most of the dictionaries, entries are arranged in alphabetical order. The arrangement of the vocabulary is either letter-by-letter or word-by-word. Usually, the dictionary users are aware of its arrangement and can consult it easily. However, the well-designed dictionary with proper guidance regarding its use makes it easier for the users to refer it. The keys to the abbreviations used and the method of indicating pronunciations should be self-explanatory. There should be consistency in arrangement, form and order of the entries.
Normally, all the dictionaries record spelling, pronunciation, syllabication, parts of speech, etymology, definition, usage, synonyms, antonyms, etc:
Pronunciations are commonly indicated with the help of diacritical marks. The variation in pronunciations at different places should be made clear. The pronunciation represented by a particular phonetic symbol should indicate the same sound.
Variations in spellings in the language used by people in different countries should be indicated clearly in the dictionary.
Etymology and history of words recorded with dates enable the user to mark the changes in meanings and usage of a word over a period of time.
Parts of speech indicated by using the abbreviations should be self-explanatory. A key to the abbreviations used should be given either in the beginning or at the end for the user's reference.
Dictionaries are mostly referred for the meanings of the words, so the definitions should be accurate, clear and precise.