Building Strong Vocabulary to Write Better Essays


Mark Twain stated, "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." Building vocabulary is the only way to know the right words to use in different situations. Vocabulary lets a person express his/her feelings, thoughts, and ideas. "When ideas fail, words come in handy," Goethe once stated. Words are important in life. There are more than 600,000 words in the English dictionary and many of these words no one knows or uses. Learning ways to increase vocabulary will help you during your life in college (while writing your custom essays or research papers), make reading easier, and it will empower you with the right words to express the way you feel or what you want to say.

How can you increase your vocabulary? Buy a dictionary and keep it close to you. When you read or hear a new word look it up in the dictionary. Buy two dictionaries. Keep on at home and carry one with you to classes.

Spend time learning about word parts. Learn different Green or Latin roots. Study what they mean so when you hear a new word you can evaluate whether it has a Greek or Latin root.

When you hear a new word, say it out loud. Check the dictionary. Check the thesaurus, and practice saying it. Write it down. Use it in sentences with friends. Discuss the meaning of the word with someone. Send an email to a friend using the word. The more you say it, hear it, and read it the more it becomes embedded in the memory.

Start a notebook with new words. In this notebook write the word and its definition. Write down some of the related words found in a thesaurus. Take time to review these words on a daily basis. Say these words out loud as you read them. Think about what the word means. Read the words and sentences again.

Using rhyming and other mnemonic devices helps in adding the word to the memory so it will not be forgotten. What words rhyme with it? How can you relate the new word to something you already know?

One of the best ways to learn new words is to do new activities. Try something completely out of your element. Skydiving, bowling, fishing, hunting, or any other type of activity that is not a part of your normal life can become a great way to learn new words. Do something different. Be brave! New activities will increase the vocabulary and make life interesting.

Read. The best way to increase vocabulary is through reading. Read different types of materials such as magazines, newspapers, journals, books, research papers, and articles on the Internet. Reading increases the vocabulary even when a person may not be aware of it. When you come across new words as you read, write these down. This does not mean that you have to run get a dictionary and look it up right then, but write it down. Later, take the time to look up the meaning to the new word.

Buy a thesaurus and compare new words with old words. However, one of the problems with this is a person may not completely understand the meaning of the word. The best way to use a thesaurus in learning new words is to combine it with a dictionary.

Many bookstores have books and other sources that claim to improve a person's vocabulary. Often reading these will help a person find ways to build their vocabulary. However, simple things can add to the vocabulary such as reading and trying new activities. Start a notebook with new words in it today and you will be surprised in a month's time how many new words you will know. "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind," stated Rudyard Kipling.

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