How to increase vocabulary for essay writing

Vocabulary

How to increase vocabulary for essay writing

Essay writing can be hard… it is so difficult not to use the same words over and over again. So let’s discuss some ways you can improve your essay writing vocabulary and nine words you should start using now.

  1. Reading. Ok, now this one may sound obvious, and you have probably heard it a million times before, but those who read everyday have a larger vocabulary. Try finding some books that interest you, whether fiction or non-fiction. If you come across words in your books that you think are interesting and useful, write them down and try to use them in a conversation. Keep an ‘interesting vocabulary list’ or a ‘word journal’ with the definitions of each word. Then, when it comes time to write your essay, you have access to a unique list of words.
  2. Use a dictionary… old school. These days dictionaries are both physical and online, but they are a great way to find new words. The thesauruses is even better, as you may be able to find synonyms for words that you find yourself repeating in your essay.
  3. Word journal. I know I mentioned this earlier, but be sure to add any word you come across in day to day life that you think may come in useful. For example, maybe the teacher has said a word which you want to write down. Maybe a TV show character said a word that was unique and may be useful for your essay writing. Keeping a journal with a variety of interesting words is a great way to have quick access to a variety of words when the time comes to write an essay.
  4. Learn a new word each day. This may sound silly, but these days there are plenty of ways to learn a new word each day. You can buy “word of the day calendars”, but there are also apps and websites which allow you to access a brand new word each day, with a definition. Endeavour to use this word at least once in a sentence during the day. Over time this will help increase your vocabulary.
  5. Play word games. Games like scrabble, boggle, crosswords or word apps on your phone can help you increase your vocabulary. Continue challenging yourself with these games and try and learn as many new words as possible.
  6. Write down the words your teachers are repeatedly using in reference to a text or movie. Not only will this increase your vocabulary, but if your teacher is constantly using a set of words in reference to a set text, it is important to remember them. This is because you will be expected to use these words in your essays. For example, if your film is Rear Window, the word voyeurism is one you must understand and be able to incorporate into your essay writing for the topic.

Here are the top nine words you should start including in your vocabulary today:

  • Anecdotal
  • Furthermore
  • However
  • Endeavour
  • Incorporate
  • Moreover
  • Similarly
  • Contrast
  • Conversely
  • Compelling
  • Significantly
  • Notably
  • Demonstrates
  • illustrates
  • Subsequently
  • Affective
  • Unbiased
  • Problematic
  • questionable

Overall, increasing your vocabulary does take work. But there are many ways to make it fun. Make a fun little challenge with yourself, and you will find your vocabulary increasing in no time.

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