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13 Tips for Students to Improve Vocabulary

Last update: April 25, 2017

Learning and using the most accurate words in your language will make it easier to think, write and communicate. Have a read of the below tips and we are sure you will find a lot of helpful these tips to improve your vocabulary!

  1. Read voraciously: Once you leave school, you won't get word drills and homework assignments that force you to learn new words. It can be easy to stop reading. If you want to build your vocabulary, establish a reading regimen and stick to it.
  2. Read classics: Read high literature. Challenge yourself by reading as many books as you have the time and inclination for. Read new fiction and read old fiction. Read poetry.
  3. Look up any words you don't recognize: When you see an unfamiliar word, do not skip over it impatiently. Try to puzzle out its possible meaning in the context of the sentence, then look it up in the dictionary and confirm its definition.
  4. Jot down unknown words: Consider keeping a small notebook with you and quickly jot down unknown words as you come across them for checking later. If you hear or see a word you don't know, be sure to look it up.
  5. Read the dictionary: Dive in. Read entries for words you aren't yet familiar with. This requires the ownership of a quality dictionary to make it more interesting, so look for a dictionary that has lengthy explanations on the origins and uses of words, as these will go a long way to helping you remember the word and enjoy way to helping you remember the word and enjoy using your dictionary.
  6. Read the thesaurus: Look up words you use a lot so you can learn similar words, and use those words as well.
  7. Do word puzzles and play word games: Word puzzles are an excellent source of increasing your word knowledge because the puzzle creators will often need to resort to an array of unusual words to ensure that the words fit into their puzzles and that they are interesting for the puzzle doer.
  8. Set a goal: If you're committed to building your vocabulary, set a goal for yourself. Try to learn three new words a week and work them into your speech and writing. With conscious effort, you can learn several thousands of new words that you'll remember and use. If you can't use a word effectively and accurately in a sentence, it's not a part of your vocabulary.
  9. Be consistent: Try to read at least one book and several magazines every week. As well as improving your vocabulary, you'll also keep updated and backdated, your general knowledge will increase, and you'll be an intelligent, well-rounded person.
  10. Use flashcards or post-it notes around your house: If you're going to make a habit of learning new words, try some simple memorization techniques as if you were studying for a test. Hang post-its with the definition of a particular word you hope to memorize above the coffee maker, so you can study it while fixing your morning cup.
  11. Write more: Start journaling if you don't already, or start a blog. Actively flexing your writing muscles will keep your vocabulary strong. Consider taking on more writing responsibilities at work. If you typically avoid composing memos or writing group emails or participating in group discussions, change your habits and write more.
  12. Use accurate adjectives and precise nouns: The best writers aim for concision and accuracy. Get out the thesaurus and use the most accurate word possible in your sentences. Don't use three words when one will do. A word is a useful addition to your vocabulary if it reduces the number of words in a sentence. For instance, the phrase "dolphins and whales" can be replaced with the word "cetaceans" making "cetaceans" a useful word.
  13. Don't flaunt it: Inexperienced writers think using the thesaurus function in Microsoft Word twice in every sentence makes writing better. It doesn't. Using flashy vocabulary and "spelling bee" words makes your writing pompous. What's worse, though, is that it also makes writing less accurate than more common words. Using the appropriate word is the mark of a real writer and a sure sign of advanced vocabulary.

Nearly all contents of this article were copied from Saudi Gazette Newspaper - KSA

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