Table of Contents
The way you express yourself and the words that you use say a lot about who you are. People judge you based on your grammar and your vocabulary. That’s one reason that many students are interested in learning how to use better vocabulary in writing English essays. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can develop your vocabulary and use it effectively to improve the quality of your college or university essays. That said, before we begin, it’s important to remember that the most important part of any essay is the content, not necessarily the style, so be sure that you have something to say in your essay before you begin writing.
So, with that said, let’s take a look at the ways that you can start building better vocabulary and using it in your writing.
Read a Lot of Great Literature
This may seem like an obvious point, but the first thing you need to do is to read English reading books on a regular basis. The more you read, the more you will be exposed to new words and new ways of using language. But this doesn’t happen from reading just anything. You need to read the best quality literature from great writers, the kind of people who are most likely to use interesting new words and to deploy words effectively in order to develop your own writing. Great writers know how to deploy words in effective ways and to pick exactly the right word from a variety of synonyms to convey the perfect meaning.
Look Up Words You Don’t Know
As you read great literature, it’s important to learn new words when they come up. While we can often glean the meaning of an unfamiliar word from context clues within a sentence, it’s beneficial to use a dictionary to look up the exact meaning of new words as you read, both to better understand what you are reading, and to build your understanding of vocabulary words. While you may not memorize every new word on the first try, repeated exposure will help you absorb the words and develop a stronger vocabulary overall. Learning words in context rather than trying to memorize a dictionary or a list of terms also helps you to better retain words and their meanings because you associate them with stories that will cement them in your mind.
Practice Using New Words
When you acquire new vocabulary, be sure to practice using it to make sure that you are using the words correctly and can deploy them naturally. You want it to sound natural and smooth when you use new words. Sometimes, if you are unpracticed, the new word can be jarring or might not fully make sense in the context you are using. The more you practice using new words the better your writing with them will be.
Use Large or Complicated Words Sparingly
This might be one of the more difficult tips on the list. Once we learn new words, it can be tempting to want to deploy them all the time and to fill our sentences with the largest, most complex words in order to show off. However, larding your writing with too many overpriced words actually does the opposite of making you look smart. It makes it look like you aren’t quite sure what to say. Complex words should be used sparing, saved for situations where their exact meaning is necessary to convey specific information. In general, you should try to use the smallest, simplest word which conveys the complete meaning you intend for the reader to get from your sentence.
Focus on Choosing the Right Word – Not the Most Obscure
A corollary to using complicated words sparingly is to choose the right word for each situation. That means that you should look for words that are sharp, clear, and contain both the connotation and denotation that you are looking for. In most cases, that means following the “KISS” rule—keep it simple, stupid. But there will be cases where you can’t convey a complex idea in a simple word and need a more complicated word to capture the full meaning. In fact, it is also the case that choosing the right word means that you need a wide vocabulary so you can parse the difference between near synonyms—for example, like the difference between “green” and “verdant,” or “sharp” and “crisp.” Using exactly the right word is an essential way to show you are a master of language.
Consider Using an Essay Writing Service Online
To build vocabulary specific to your topic, you might want to consider getting legitimate help from professional writers at an academic essay writing service like SmartWritingService.com. When you receive online essay writing help, you will be able to see the exact type of vocabulary that a professional writer would use for your subject. College and university students often benefit from seeing that specific academic vocabulary in action to better understand how to use it in their own work.
Don’t Rely on the Thesaurus
Finally, you might be tempted to simply use a thesaurus to find synonyms as a quick way to build your paper’s vocabulary. Be cautious—many thesaurus synonyms are context-dependent and can’t simply be substituted into your paper without changing or altering your intended meaning.
Which of these tips would you like to start with? Our top favorites are reading great literature and delegating some of the tasks when you need that. Why? It is simple — sometimes we all need some assistance, and often it is better to spend time reading some classics than writing some nonsense. Dealing with creative papers requires time and energy, and you don’t get those if you don’t learn to delegate. When you have several persuasive essays written by professional writers, you start linking their structure and the sentiment to essays you have to write. Unfortunately, students lack guidance about writing, especially with education going almost fully online in the pandemic time. That is why it is hard to overestimate the importance of expert writing assistance and useful tricks you can use on your own. The ones listed in this guide are dictated both by experience and common sense. Start with one of them, and see where it takes you.