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  • 40 Useful Words and Phrases for Top-Notch Essays

new vocabulary words for essay writing

To be truly brilliant, an essay needs to utilise the right language. You could make a great point, but if it’s not intelligently articulated, you almost needn’t have bothered.

Developing the language skills to build an argument and to write persuasively is crucial if you’re to write outstanding essays every time. In this article, we’re going to equip you with the words and phrases you need to write a top-notch essay, along with examples of how to utilise them.

It’s by no means an exhaustive list, and there will often be other ways of using the words and phrases we describe that we won’t have room to include, but there should be more than enough below to help you make an instant improvement to your essay-writing skills.

This article is suitable for native English speakers and those who are  learning English at Oxford Royale Academy and are just taking their first steps into essay writing.

General explaining

Let’s start by looking at language for general explanations of complex points.

1. In order to

Usage: “In order to” can be used to introduce an explanation for the purpose of an argument. Example: “In order to understand X, we need first to understand Y.”

2. In other words

Usage: Use “in other words” when you want to express something in a different way (more simply), to make it easier to understand, or to emphasise or expand on a point. Example: “Frogs are amphibians. In other words, they live on the land and in the water.”

3. To put it another way

Usage: This phrase is another way of saying “in other words”, and can be used in particularly complex points, when you feel that an alternative way of wording a problem may help the reader achieve a better understanding of its significance. Example: “Plants rely on photosynthesis. To put it another way, they will die without the sun.”

4. That is to say

Usage: “That is” and “that is to say” can be used to add further detail to your explanation, or to be more precise. Example: “Whales are mammals. That is to say, they must breathe air.”

5. To that end

Usage: Use “to that end” or “to this end” in a similar way to “in order to” or “so”. Example: “Zoologists have long sought to understand how animals communicate with each other. To that end, a new study has been launched that looks at elephant sounds and their possible meanings.”

Adding additional information to support a point

Students often make the mistake of using synonyms of “and” each time they want to add further information in support of a point they’re making, or to build an argument . Here are some cleverer ways of doing this.

6. Moreover

Usage: Employ “moreover” at the start of a sentence to add extra information in support of a point you’re making. Example: “Moreover, the results of a recent piece of research provide compelling evidence in support of…”

7. Furthermore

Usage:This is also generally used at the start of a sentence, to add extra information. Example: “Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that…”

8. What’s more

Usage: This is used in the same way as “moreover” and “furthermore”. Example: “What’s more, this isn’t the only evidence that supports this hypothesis.”

9. Likewise

Usage: Use “likewise” when you want to talk about something that agrees with what you’ve just mentioned. Example: “Scholar A believes X. Likewise, Scholar B argues compellingly in favour of this point of view.”

10. Similarly

Usage: Use “similarly” in the same way as “likewise”. Example: “Audiences at the time reacted with shock to Beethoven’s new work, because it was very different to what they were used to. Similarly, we have a tendency to react with surprise to the unfamiliar.”

11. Another key thing to remember

Usage: Use the phrase “another key point to remember” or “another key fact to remember” to introduce additional facts without using the word “also”. Example: “As a Romantic, Blake was a proponent of a closer relationship between humans and nature. Another key point to remember is that Blake was writing during the Industrial Revolution, which had a major impact on the world around him.”

12. As well as

Usage: Use “as well as” instead of “also” or “and”. Example: “Scholar A argued that this was due to X, as well as Y.”

13. Not only… but also

Usage: This wording is used to add an extra piece of information, often something that’s in some way more surprising or unexpected than the first piece of information. Example: “Not only did Edmund Hillary have the honour of being the first to reach the summit of Everest, but he was also appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.”

14. Coupled with

Usage: Used when considering two or more arguments at a time. Example: “Coupled with the literary evidence, the statistics paint a compelling view of…”

15. Firstly, secondly, thirdly…

Usage: This can be used to structure an argument, presenting facts clearly one after the other. Example: “There are many points in support of this view. Firstly, X. Secondly, Y. And thirdly, Z.

16. Not to mention/to say nothing of

Usage: “Not to mention” and “to say nothing of” can be used to add extra information with a bit of emphasis. Example: “The war caused unprecedented suffering to millions of people, not to mention its impact on the country’s economy.”

Words and phrases for demonstrating contrast

When you’re developing an argument, you will often need to present contrasting or opposing opinions or evidence – “it could show this, but it could also show this”, or “X says this, but Y disagrees”. This section covers words you can use instead of the “but” in these examples, to make your writing sound more intelligent and interesting.

17. However

Usage: Use “however” to introduce a point that disagrees with what you’ve just said. Example: “Scholar A thinks this. However, Scholar B reached a different conclusion.”

18. On the other hand

Usage: Usage of this phrase includes introducing a contrasting interpretation of the same piece of evidence, a different piece of evidence that suggests something else, or an opposing opinion. Example: “The historical evidence appears to suggest a clear-cut situation. On the other hand, the archaeological evidence presents a somewhat less straightforward picture of what happened that day.”

19. Having said that

Usage: Used in a similar manner to “on the other hand” or “but”. Example: “The historians are unanimous in telling us X, an agreement that suggests that this version of events must be an accurate account. Having said that, the archaeology tells a different story.”

20. By contrast/in comparison

Usage: Use “by contrast” or “in comparison” when you’re comparing and contrasting pieces of evidence. Example: “Scholar A’s opinion, then, is based on insufficient evidence. By contrast, Scholar B’s opinion seems more plausible.”

21. Then again

Usage: Use this to cast doubt on an assertion. Example: “Writer A asserts that this was the reason for what happened. Then again, it’s possible that he was being paid to say this.”

22. That said

Usage: This is used in the same way as “then again”. Example: “The evidence ostensibly appears to point to this conclusion. That said, much of the evidence is unreliable at best.”

Usage: Use this when you want to introduce a contrasting idea. Example: “Much of scholarship has focused on this evidence. Yet not everyone agrees that this is the most important aspect of the situation.”

Adding a proviso or acknowledging reservations

Sometimes, you may need to acknowledge a shortfalling in a piece of evidence, or add a proviso. Here are some ways of doing so.

24. Despite this

Usage: Use “despite this” or “in spite of this” when you want to outline a point that stands regardless of a shortfalling in the evidence. Example: “The sample size was small, but the results were important despite this.”

25. With this in mind

Usage: Use this when you want your reader to consider a point in the knowledge of something else. Example: “We’ve seen that the methods used in the 19th century study did not always live up to the rigorous standards expected in scientific research today, which makes it difficult to draw definite conclusions. With this in mind, let’s look at a more recent study to see how the results compare.”

26. Provided that

Usage: This means “on condition that”. You can also say “providing that” or just “providing” to mean the same thing. Example: “We may use this as evidence to support our argument, provided that we bear in mind the limitations of the methods used to obtain it.”

27. In view of/in light of

Usage: These phrases are used when something has shed light on something else. Example: “In light of the evidence from the 2013 study, we have a better understanding of…”

28. Nonetheless

Usage: This is similar to “despite this”. Example: “The study had its limitations, but it was nonetheless groundbreaking for its day.”

29. Nevertheless

Usage: This is the same as “nonetheless”. Example: “The study was flawed, but it was important nevertheless.”

30. Notwithstanding

Usage: This is another way of saying “nonetheless”. Example: “Notwithstanding the limitations of the methodology used, it was an important study in the development of how we view the workings of the human mind.”

Giving examples

Good essays always back up points with examples, but it’s going to get boring if you use the expression “for example” every time. Here are a couple of other ways of saying the same thing.

31. For instance

Example: “Some birds migrate to avoid harsher winter climates. Swallows, for instance, leave the UK in early winter and fly south…”

32. To give an illustration

Example: “To give an illustration of what I mean, let’s look at the case of…”

Signifying importance

When you want to demonstrate that a point is particularly important, there are several ways of highlighting it as such.

33. Significantly

Usage: Used to introduce a point that is loaded with meaning that might not be immediately apparent. Example: “Significantly, Tacitus omits to tell us the kind of gossip prevalent in Suetonius’ accounts of the same period.”

34. Notably

Usage: This can be used to mean “significantly” (as above), and it can also be used interchangeably with “in particular” (the example below demonstrates the first of these ways of using it). Example: “Actual figures are notably absent from Scholar A’s analysis.”

35. Importantly

Usage: Use “importantly” interchangeably with “significantly”. Example: “Importantly, Scholar A was being employed by X when he wrote this work, and was presumably therefore under pressure to portray the situation more favourably than he perhaps might otherwise have done.”


You’ve almost made it to the end of the essay, but your work isn’t over yet. You need to end by wrapping up everything you’ve talked about, showing that you’ve considered the arguments on both sides and reached the most likely conclusion. Here are some words and phrases to help you.

36. In conclusion

Usage: Typically used to introduce the concluding paragraph or sentence of an essay, summarising what you’ve discussed in a broad overview. Example: “In conclusion, the evidence points almost exclusively to Argument A.”

37. Above all

Usage: Used to signify what you believe to be the most significant point, and the main takeaway from the essay. Example: “Above all, it seems pertinent to remember that…”

38. Persuasive

Usage: This is a useful word to use when summarising which argument you find most convincing. Example: “Scholar A’s point – that Constanze Mozart was motivated by financial gain – seems to me to be the most persuasive argument for her actions following Mozart’s death.”

39. Compelling

Usage: Use in the same way as “persuasive” above. Example: “The most compelling argument is presented by Scholar A.”

40. All things considered

Usage: This means “taking everything into account”. Example: “All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that…”

How many of these words and phrases will you get into your next essay? And are any of your favourite essay terms missing from our list? Let us know in the comments below, or get in touch here to find out more about courses that can help you with your essays.

At Oxford Royale Academy, we offer a number of  summer school courses for young people who are keen to improve their essay writing skills. Click here to apply for one of our courses today, including law , politics , business , medicine  and engineering .

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Words for Essay Writing

More useful words to use for essay writing to impress your teachers.

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100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

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How to Write a Great Essay in English! This lesson provides 100+ useful words, transition word s and expressions used in writing an essay. Let’s take a look!

The secret to a successful essay doesn’t just lie in the clever things you talk about and the way you structure your points.

Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Overview of an essay.

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay

Useful Phrases for Proficiency Essays

Developing the argument

The other side of the argument

Ordering elements

Adding elements

Accepting other points of view

Personal opinion

Others’ opinions

Introducing examples

Introducing facts

Saying what you think is true

Accepting other points to a certain degree

Emphasizing particular points

Moderating, agreeing, disagreeing


How to Write a Great Essay | Image 1

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 1

How to Write a Great Essay | Image 2

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 2

Phrases For Balanced Arguments


How to Write a Great Essay | Image 3

100+ Useful Words and Phrases to Write a Great Essay 3

Tuesday 15th of November 2022

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Friday 19th of August 2022

thank u so much its really usefull


Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

He or she who masters the English language rules the world!

Friday 25th of March 2022

Thank you so so much, this helped me in my essays with A+

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Friday 11th of March 2022

Vocabulary Point

English Vocabulary Words For Essay Writing

English Vocabulary Words For Essay Writing

English Vocabulary Words For Essay Writing. When it comes to writing essays, having a strong vocabulary is crucial. Not only do you need to be able to express your own thoughts and ideas clearly, but you also need to be able to understand and analyze the arguments of others. Having a strong command of English vocabulary will help you immensely both in college and in your career. To help you out, here are 20 essential English vocabulary words for essay writing that you should know.

English Vocabulary Words For Essay Writing 100 useful phrases for writing essays

You Can Download Vocabulary for essays  PDF


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Inspiring and educating bright minds.

100+ Big Words To Enhance Your Vocabulary

80- 150 Big Words To Enhance Your Vocabulary

It’s true. Good vocabulary plays a huge role in polishing not only writing skills but speech quality as well. It makes you stand out in the crowd. Period! A couple of fancy words mouthed by an individual would leave a lasting impression, and one would automatically consider them to be smart!

Table of Contents

Your speech and appearance are two factors that influence your personality. Why not add some grace to the former by learning a few words that would send out a strong signal? You need not be an avid reader or bookworm, just stay with us and we’ll get you to it.

We have the perfect list of vocabulary words that would make you look smart and sound appealing! For words that are too complex to understand will be used in sentences so that you can apprehend the meaning easily.

P.s: These words are exclusively hand-picked for you. I bet you won’t find a list as imposing as this!

104 Simple Words with Complex Meanings

Long Distance Relationship Quotes

Lean and haggard because of hunger or age.

Severe self-discipline. One who avoids self-indulgence.

Deserving blame.

A detective or investigator.

To make a whistling or ruffling sound, such as that of the leaves in wind.


To appoint something beforehand. For example, success can not be foreordained.

To criticize unfairly.

Of relating to practical affairs. Or one who is boring and dull. For example, returning to a mundane work routine is hard after a weekend.

Existing from the beginning of time. Or basic/fundamental needs.

Massive respect for something or someone.


The state of knowing everything. For example, God is omniscient.


Being present everywhere at the same time. 

Moving in a turbulent or non-orderly manner. For example, the weltering group of cows.

Things that are formed by gradual growth or increase. For example, the accretion of cultures or financial assets.

To omit from speech. Or merge together. For example, eliding the scenes of a play. 

Denying any responsibility or knowledge of something. For example, disavowal of earlier statements in court. 

new vocabulary words for essay writing

A practical and sensible approach rather than a theoretical one. For example, making pragmatic decisions about life.

Expressing opinions so strongly that they look like facts. For example, being dogmatically rigid in matters of choices.

Associated with massive respect. For example, a venerable teacher.

Making a harsh or loud noise.


Declaring something sacred.


Of belonging to an elite or supreme society/family.

Unusually thin or weak.


Having continuous or dire effects. Or the echoing of a voice. 

Being indifferent to pain or pleasure.

To support or strengthen.

Something of doubtful authenticity being circulated as the truth. For example, his apocryphal lies about me have shunned my confidence. 

Non-offensive and unharmful. For example, an innocuous remark.

Something that has the potential to attract envy or desire. For example, a job with a handsome salary would be enviable.

Pointless. For example, a futile effort.

Walking slowly with heavy steps. For example, trudging with exhaustion.

5 essential tips to help you ace your ACCA exam

In a careful manner. For example, walking gingerly so that no one in the house wakes up.

Blasphemous or obscene language.

A strong or passionate feeling.

To reprimand severely. 

To ignore the complexity of an issue. To look at something only superficially. For example, a facile observation of his bruises leads to ambiguity in the investigation.

The primary part of a building facing a street/road. Or an outward appearance that is deliberately false (to give a wrong impression). For example, don’t fall for his smile for it is only a facade to mask his pain.

To sharpen something (such as a spear) or to perfect a skill. For example, she honed her skills to earn the title of the best graphic designer in her firm.

A strong liking or admiration for something. For example, she has a penchant for everything pink.

A sudden change of mood. For example, I fear hanging out with her because of her capricious personality.

Something terrible. Or something that causes moral revulsion. For example, the abominable acts of the corrupt government made the poor suffer.


Lack of respect or rudeness. For example, his inability to converse with other people was perceived as an impertinence. 

Range of experience or thought. For example, 

Risking someone else’s money. For example, he’s wagered all his father’s pension money on gambling and casinos.

Accepting something after initially declining it. For example, after catching his son red-handed he couldn’t help but concede the rumors.

Charming someone in a deceptive manner. For example, she is easily beguiled by looks and money.

Having a red complexion.

Looking after oneself without any help from others. For example, after the death of her parents, she had to fend for bread and butter.

Puzzled or confused.

The action of sending someone to prison or a psychiatric institution.

A person or thing that stands guard or watches. For example, the policeman sentinelled all the suspects until their bail was granted.

Resting or sitting on something high and narrow. For example, perching on the arms of a chair.

A loud roar.

To hit someone hard or to deal with someone harshly. For example, next time he misbehaves with me I’ll clobber him.

Taking a long step.

Woman reading her favorite book near a window

Favorable or something that indicates success. For example, a propitious consensus was reached once the meeting ended.

Developing a behavior or ability before age. For example, her reading habit lent her a precocious writing talent.

A young individual with exceptional talent. For example, she emerged as a child prodigy with those outstanding mathematical skills.


Ceasing to resist a demand or opponent. The act of surrendering. For example, the opposition had to capitulate to the demands of the government.

An agreement between two groups. For example: after a vicious battle, the two teams finally decided to reach a concord. 

Hesitant or doubtful. For example, I was dubious about purchasing such a shady property.

Unpleasant in taste or smell. For example, the acrid smoke from the chimney made me nauseous.

Rhythm or modulation of the voice. For example, she spoke with cadence and confidence at the international conference. 

Unfriendly and rude. For example, her surly behavior is the reason why she doesn’t have any friends.

Constantly moving from one place to another. For example, the roving life of a nomad.

new vocabulary words for essay writing


Below the threshold of conscious perception. For example, commercials these days send out subliminal messages that manipulate the viewer.

Disagreeing or denying formally in a debate. For example, his accusations were met with a firm rebuttal.

To have a share in something.

Stupid or foolish.

An individual who attacks or criticizes personal beliefs and religion.

A loud and harsh sound. 

Someone who proposes or advocates something. For example, he was a strong proponent of legal trade policies.

Indulging or plunged. For example, his memories wallowed him.

Forbidden. For example, smoking was strictly illicit in the common room.

To get something. For example, eliciting a reaction.

Sulky or rude. For example, his petulant behavior offended me.

A travel log or a planned journey. 

new vocabulary words for essay writing

A figurative or metaphorical use of an expression. 

To carry out something carelessly. For example, a botched surgery due to lack of experience of the clinician.

To discard.

An excessively proper manner.

Advantageous. For example, the recruiters were only going to hire expedient individuals.

Showing interest or concern. For example, teachers are always solicitous about their students.

A lengthy and aggressive speech.


Pleasing or likable attributes because they are similar to one’s own. For example: due to his congenial personality, he has a large social circle.

A short and abrupt reply. For example, the cashier was brusque with the customers.

Prestige. Or a distinguishing mark. For example, this high-end cosmetic company has a cachet that attracts a lot of customers.

Relentlessly severe, stern, or gloomy. 



Stopping someone from being angry. For example, they both were furious so someone had to conciliate. 

Deliberately created rather than arising naturally or with the flow. For example, the contrived ending of this movie made me dislike it entirely.

To have an unpleasant feeling or effect. For example, his loud munching jarred on my ears. 

Critical and full of rebuke. For example, the headmistress chided us for wearing dirty uniforms.

Ask Away: The FAQ Section

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What are some good vocabulary words?

Which vocabulary word goes with similar?

What are the four types of vocabulary?

Listening, speaking, reading, and writing are the four types of vocabulary.

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40 Big Words That Make an Impact In Speech and Writing

student gives oral report in front of class with big words example list

Whether you’re giving a rollicking good speech or writing the next great American novel, being effective comes down to using the right words. Discerning the “right” words from the “wrong” ones can be hard and often comes down to your own voice and goals, but replacing filler words with more advanced terms (what some people like to call “big words”) is a great place to start.

Big Words To Use in Conversations

Sometimes you just need a specific word to describe the mood or moment. There are times when happy or sad just don’t feel correct. Thankfully, you have a million words to boost your everyday vocabulary.

Sentence Examples Using Big Words for Conversations

Even with those large words jingling around in your head, understanding their usage can be confusing. You don’t want to confuse (or, worse, offend) your friends by misusing a word. Thankfully, reading some sentence examples can clear things up for you.

Big Words To Use in Speeches and Debates

When you’re giving a speech or debating , using sophisticated words can provide greater emotional resonance, add credence to your argument, or otherwise make your speaking flow more freely. Just make sure you know what the word means and how it's pronounced before you actually say it out loud.

Sentence Examples of Big Words Used in Speeches and Debates

Knowing the words and knowing how to use them are different things, so make sure you look at some sentence examples to get a good handle on proper usage.

Big Words To Use in Essays and Other Academic Writing

The good news about writing is that you typically don’t have to say the words out loud, so you don’t have to worry about pronouncing words outside your purview. Still, knowing the right words will help you create the right writing flow for more effective essays .

Sentence Examples for Big Words Used in Academic Writing

As usual, building your vocabulary is all about knowing how to properly use words. You thankfully don’t have to worry about pronunciation, but checking out some sentence examples can give you a good idea of what to expect.

Big Words To Use in Creative Writing

The main difference between academic and creative writing is, well, the creativity involved. Maybe you want a certain number of syllables. Maybe you want to create a rhyme scheme or maintain assonance or consonance . Having the right words, big or small, can help you develop your creative writing abilities.  

Sentence Examples for Big Words Used in Creative Writing

With creative writing, you have a little more room to exercise your own voice and poetics. Depending on the task, you could turn an adjective into a verb or make a noun a descriptor. But it’s still worth seeing some sentence examples to get an idea of usage before plunging fully into creativity.

Why Be Common When You Can Be Remarkable?

You should use “big words” to maintain greater specificity and avoid filler words , like very or quite . A different word can help to change your tone, maintain a literary device, or help you get your message across.

At the same time, don’t force it if you don’t need to. You don’t need big words to sound smart. When you use a big word, you have a higher risk of using it incorrectly or sounding unnatural, which can lead to disingenuous writing or speaking. 

Grammar Guide

Words to Use in an Essay: 300 Essay Words

Hannah Yang

Hannah Yang

Speculative Fiction Author

words to use in an essay

It’s not easy to write an academic essay.

Many students struggle to word their arguments in a logical and concise way.

To make matters worse, academic essays need to adhere to a certain level of formality, so we can’t always use the same word choices in essay writing that we would use in daily life.

If you’re struggling to choose the right words for your essay, don’t worry—you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of over 300 words and phrases to use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essay.

Words to Use in the Essay Introduction

Words to use in the body of the essay, words to use in your essay conclusion, how to improve your essay writing vocabulary.

The introduction is one of the hardest parts of an essay to write.

You have only one chance to make a first impression, and you want to hook your reader. If the introduction isn’t effective, the reader might not even bother to read the rest of the essay.

That’s why it’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate with the words you choose at the beginning of your essay.

Many students use a quote in the introductory paragraph to establish credibility and set the tone for the rest of the essay.

When you’re referencing another author or speaker, try using some of these phrases:

Example: To use the words of Hillary Clinton, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health.”

Near the end of the introduction, you should state the thesis to explain the central point of your paper.

If you’re not sure how to introduce your thesis, try using some of these phrases:

Phrases to introduce a thesis

Example: In this essay, I will explain why dress codes in public schools are detrimental to students.

After you’ve stated your thesis, it’s time to start presenting the arguments you’ll use to back up that central idea.

When you’re introducing the first of a series of arguments, you can use the following words:

Example: First , consider the effects that this new social security policy would have on low-income taxpayers.

All these words and phrases will help you create a more successful introduction and convince your audience to read on.

The body of your essay is where you’ll explain your core arguments and present your evidence.

It’s important to choose words and phrases for the body of your essay that will help the reader understand your position and convince them you’ve done your research.

Let’s look at some different types of words and phrases that you can use in the body of your essay, as well as some examples of what these words look like in a sentence.

Transition Words and Phrases

Transitioning from one argument to another is crucial for a good essay.

It’s important to guide your reader from one idea to the next so they don’t get lost or feel like you’re jumping around at random.

Transition phrases and linking words show your reader you’re about to move from one argument to the next, smoothing out their reading experience. They also make your writing look more professional.

The simplest transition involves moving from one idea to a separate one that supports the same overall argument. Try using these phrases when you want to introduce a second correlating idea:

Example: Additionally , public parks increase property value because home buyers prefer houses that are located close to green, open spaces.

Another type of transition involves restating. It’s often useful to restate complex ideas in simpler terms to help the reader digest them. When you’re restating an idea, you can use the following words:

Example: “The research showed that 53% of students surveyed expressed a mild or strong preference for more on-campus housing. In other words , over half the students wanted more dormitory options.”

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Often, you’ll need to provide examples to illustrate your point more clearly for the reader. When you’re about to give an example of something you just said, you can use the following words:

Example: Humans have long tried to exert control over our natural environment. For instance , engineers reversed the Chicago River in 1900, causing it to permanently flow backward.

Sometimes, you’ll need to explain the impact or consequence of something you’ve just said.

When you’re drawing a conclusion from evidence you’ve presented, try using the following words:

Example: “There wasn’t enough government funding to support the rest of the physics experiment. Thus , the team was forced to shut down their experiment in 1996.”

Phrases to draw conclusions

When introducing an idea that bolsters one you’ve already stated, or adds another important aspect to that same argument, you can use the following words:

Example: The volcanic eruption disrupted hundreds of thousands of people. Moreover , it impacted the local flora and fauna as well, causing nearly a hundred species to go extinct.

Often, you'll want to present two sides of the same argument. When you need to compare and contrast ideas, you can use the following words:

Example: On the one hand , the Black Death was undoubtedly a tragedy because it killed millions of Europeans. On the other hand , it created better living conditions for the peasants who survived.

Finally, when you’re introducing a new angle that contradicts your previous idea, you can use the following phrases:

Example: Shakespearean plays are classic works of literature that have stood the test of time. Having said that , I would argue that Shakespeare isn’t the most accessible form of literature to teach students in the twenty-first century.

Good essays include multiple types of logic. You can use a combination of the transitions above to create a strong, clear structure throughout the body of your essay.

Strong Verbs for Academic Writing

Verbs are especially important for writing clear essays. Often, you can convey a nuanced meaning simply by choosing the right verb.

You should use strong verbs that are precise and dynamic. Whenever possible, you should use an unambiguous verb, rather than a generic verb.

For example, alter and fluctuate are stronger verbs than change , because they give the reader more descriptive detail.

Here are some useful verbs that will help make your essay shine.

Verbs that show change:

Verbs that relate to causing or impacting something:

Verbs that show increase:

Verbs that show decrease:

Verbs that relate to parts of a whole:


Verbs that show a negative stance:

Verbs that show a negative stance

Verbs that show a positive stance:

Verbs that relate to drawing conclusions from evidence:

Verbs that relate to thinking and analysis:

Verbs that relate to showing information in a visual format:

Useful Adjectives and Adverbs for Academic Essays

You should use adjectives and adverbs more sparingly than verbs when writing essays, since they sometimes add unnecessary fluff to sentences.

However, choosing the right adjectives and adverbs can help add detail and sophistication to your essay.

Sometimes you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is useful and should be taken seriously. Here are some adjectives that create positive emphasis:

Other times, you'll need to use an adjective to show that a finding or argument is harmful or ineffective. Here are some adjectives that create a negative emphasis:

Finally, you might need to use an adverb to lend nuance to a sentence, or to express a specific degree of certainty. Here are some examples of adverbs that are often used in essays:

Using these words will help you successfully convey the key points you want to express. Once you’ve nailed the body of your essay, it’s time to move on to the conclusion.

The conclusion of your paper is important for synthesizing the arguments you’ve laid out and restating your thesis.

In your concluding paragraph, try using some of these essay words:

Example: In conclusion , it’s imperative that we take action to address climate change before we lose our coral reefs forever.

In addition to simply summarizing the key points from the body of your essay, you should also add some final takeaways. Give the reader your final opinion and a bit of a food for thought.

To place emphasis on a certain point or a key fact, use these essay words:

Example: Ada Lovelace is unquestionably a powerful role model for young girls around the world, and more of our public school curricula should include her as a historical figure.

These concluding phrases will help you finish writing your essay in a strong, confident way.

There are many useful essay words out there that we didn't include in this article, because they are specific to certain topics.

If you're writing about biology, for example, you will need to use different terminology than if you're writing about literature.

So how do you improve your vocabulary skills?

The vocabulary you use in your academic writing is a toolkit you can build up over time, as long as you take the time to learn new words.

One way to increase your vocabulary is by looking up words you don’t know when you’re reading.

Try reading more books and academic articles in the field you’re writing about and jotting down all the new words you find. You can use these words to bolster your own essays.

You can also consult a dictionary or a thesaurus. When you’re using a word you’re not confident about, researching its meaning and common synonyms can help you make sure it belongs in your essay.

Don't be afraid of using simpler words. Good essay writing boils down to choosing the best word to convey what you need to say, not the fanciest word possible.

Finally, you can use ProWritingAid’s synonym tool or essay checker to find more precise and sophisticated vocabulary. Click on weak words in your essay to find stronger alternatives.

ProWritingAid offering synonyms for great

There you have it: our compilation of the best words and phrases to use in your next essay . Good luck!

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20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers

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Why Expand Your Vocabulary? (And Tips For Learning New Words)

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new vocabulary words for essay writing

The goal to improve your vocabulary may not be the biggest priority on your college “to-do” list, especially if you’re majoring in a field outside of the humanities. Still, there are benefits to be enjoyed from adding new words to your lexicon. Some of these benefits can yield long-lasting rewards. Specifically, building a college vocabulary can help you succeed academically. It can also poise you for even more accomplishments in your professional career. This could include job offers, promotions, and raises. In this article, we’ll explore how an advanced vocabulary (i.e., one that includes college-level words) can build intelligence and foster success in the classroom and in the workplace. We’ll also present some specific vocabulary-building exercises you can use to fill in any gaps in your English language lexicon. This way, you can take full advantage of all the rewards and benefits of speaking and writing eloquently.

Don’t Just Sound Smarter—Be Smarter!

new vocabulary words for essay writing

Do you know someone who is always using larger vocabulary words to sound more sophisticated or intelligent? Everyone knows that using college-level words can make a person appear smarter—so long as the individual is using the right words correctly! (As Mark Twain once said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”)

But did you know that expanding your vocabulary can actually increase your intelligence? It may sound far-fetched, but from a neurolinguistic perspective, it makes perfect sense. Language is directly tied to brain function, and each new word represents another of the essential building blocks of language. Thus, the more new words you know, the better you can process information. And the more efficient your brain is at making meaningful connections between objects, ideas, and concepts. This, of course, is the essence of intelligence.

Acquiring new words to improve your vocabulary can also free up your time and energy. This could be the case as you’re attempting to learn new content, especially if you become fluent in using these new word lists rather than simply acknowledging the definitions of certain college words. For illustrative purposes, imagine you’re studying for a philosophy exam, and you come across a new word you aren’t familiar with. Suddenly, your chore of learning philosophical theory just became twice as difficult. You have to stop what you’re doing to look up the definition of the new word and then try to apply it to the context of your course material. You’ve wasted precious time and effort that could have been better spent preparing for your upcoming test. Building up your knowledge of college vocabulary words before university enrollment is advised. This will give you the best chance of success in your classes and in future career success.

Higher Grades Across the Board

new vocabulary words for essay writing

We’ve established that learning college words beforehand can help you learn the material for your courses. This isn’t the only way that a college vocabulary can yield success in school, though. You’ve likely been forewarned that college coursework requires a ton of writing, and it’s true. Instead of reports being limited to your English classes as may have been the case in high school, your college courses will be full of research papers, reflective essays, and lab reports, no matter what your major. Even general education classes like introductory psychology and even mathematics will require that you write essays as part of your academic requirements. In order to succeed in these classes, you’ll need to be proficient at written communication. This includes using college vocabulary words appropriately and fluently. And this isn’t just a matter of form, either. Communicating clearly is essential for discussing the kinds of higher-level concepts you’ll be required to explore and explain in your college classes. The more college-level words you have in your vocabulary, the better equipped you’ll be to do just that.

Having more words in your vocabulary doesn’t only benefit you when it comes to written expression, though. It also helps you with oral communication (i.e., speaking skills). You may not be required to do as much public speaking in college as you will writing. Still, oral communication is important in higher education settings. For instance, in some classes, part of your grade may be dependent upon your contribution to class discussions. The extent to which you take part in these verbal exchanges as well as the quality of your contribution could very well mean the difference between a mediocre grade and a stellar one. Having a working college vocabulary can position you for successful banter with your peers.

Better Job Prospects

new vocabulary words for essay writing

Employers have long-cited communication skills among some of the most desirable traits in new recruits. According to a 2010 survey of employers conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities , 89% of respondents said postsecondary institutions should better prepare graduates in the areas of written and oral communication skills. This implies that these particular soft skills are not only valued by employers, but they’re also rare. That’s good news for graduates with strong college vocabulary skills. It means they’ll very likely stand out to hiring managers when applying for jobs.

Speaking of the application process, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to show off your knowledge of new words as you’re vying for open positions. From the initial step of filling out the official job application to submitting your resume and cover letter, your knowledge of college words will be on full display. The cover letter in particular presents an opportunity to show off your advanced writing skills. While hiring managers may scan your application and even your resume, the cover letter is usually read from top to bottom. Using some new words here can’t hurt your plight, as long as you’re using them properly.

Your oral communication skills won’t go unnoticed during your job hunt, either. This is particularly true should you land an interview with a company’s hiring manager. According to the online job board Indeed , the typical job interview lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. During this time, the interviewer will be hanging onto your every word, listening to clues that show what kind of employee you would be if you were hired. No pressure, right? Depending on the job you’re interviewing for, your knowledge of new words could make or break your chances for employment. Being well-spoken is a leg-up for any type of professional role. But it may be even more crucial if you’re an aspiring teacher, manager, or public figure, for instance.

Career Advancement Opportunities

new vocabulary words for essay writing

Even after you’ve graduated from your degree program and snagged a job, your college vocabulary will continue to prove valuable. In fact, it could put you first in line for promotions and advancements. This may lead to more job satisfaction, prestige, and yes—higher wages. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) lists good communication skills among the top ten skills managers need in the workplace, citing the results of a survey of more than 15,000 managers across the world. SHRM goes on to cite the “7 C’s of Communication,” one of which is conciseness. Essentially, this means that using one word instead of several to communicate an idea is preferable. Conciseness is often dependent upon vocabulary knowledge, however. That is, you’ll need to know the right word to use. Thus, having a good grasp of college-level words can help you communicate concisely. This can add to your effectiveness as a manager.

If you’re able to leverage your college vocabulary to earn a managerial position, then you can expect to start reaping some monetary rewards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) , managers make more on average than employees of any other occupational group. In 2020, the median annual wage for professionals in management positions was well over six figures—$109,760 to be exact.

How to Expand Your Vocabulary to Include College Words

new vocabulary words for essay writing

At this point, you may be wondering what you should do if you can’t define all of the words every college student should know. Good question! Acknowledging the importance of a good college vocabulary is one thing, but acquiring one is another thing entirely. If you feel like your knowledge of new words is subpar, don’t fret. There are some things you can do to expand your vocabulary. This will ensure you’re verbally prepared for your postsecondary journey and beyond.

Reading to Learn New Words

If the idea of curling up with a good book and a hot beverage appeals to you, then you’re in luck. Reading is widely accepted as one of the very best ways to improve one’s vocabulary by learning new words. Just make sure that the book you’re reading is on par with college-level words and diction. After all, reading a book full of rudimentary words you know might be enjoyable, but it won’t do anything to build a college vocabulary. Your reading habit should include challenging literature full of unfamiliar words. Exposing yourself to college words used in context can help you absorb these words into your own vocabulary. The more you’re exposed to them, the more likely it is that they’ll make their way into your own speech and writing. This is why well-read people also tend to have better writing and speaking skills.

Expand Your Vocabulary by Listening

If you’re not an avid reader, take heart that there are other ways to learn new words. This includes listening to these words as they’re spoken aloud. That means listening to an audiobook is a perfectly acceptable way to expand your vocabulary. Grammarly suggests that even movies and television shows can be instructive when it comes to learning new vocabulary words. This experience is like reading visual books with the added perk of hearing the words pronounced. This technique may be more effective for second language learners. Still, it can be beneficial to native speakers as well. Just be selective about the types of media you consume.

Writing for Practice with College Level Words

Writing is often thought of as an assignment or chore. But it can also be a tool for learning, particularly when it comes to adding more words to your vocabulary. Simply writing down a word and its definition in a vocabulary journal can help you commit the term to memory. Of course, becoming comfortable with the word in formal writing or speech may require a bit more practice. For this, we recommend making an intentional effort to use the word in casual writing. This could be in a personal journal, an email to a friend, or a low-stakes classroom assignment. As you find opportunities to use new vocabulary words more frequently, you’ll become more confident applying them to other contexts such as public speaking and essay writing, for instance.

Technology for Exposure to College Vocabulary Words

For decades now, technology and learning have been intertwined. Thus, it’s no surprise that today, there are high-tech ways to build a college vocabulary. It’s simple–play word games! Test-prep company Magoosh offers a word game/ vocabulary building app featuring 1200 different words for daily practice. If the idea of having an educational app on your phone is off-putting, there are plenty of other options to play word games. This includes word association games. Word games have become strangely popular and highly addictive, so much so that people forget that they’re also good for the brain. Completing online crossword puzzles, playing Scrabble Go with a friend across the globe, or even challenging a stranger to a round of Words with Friends are all good ways to learn English words (and they’re fun too).

If learning new words to improve your vocabulary wasn’t already on your radar, we trust it is now. Building a college vocabulary is a simple and often overlooked strategy to gain a competitive advantage in academia and on the job. It’s also a technique that can be improved over time. When you decide to expand your vocabulary, you might be wondering how many words to learn. English vocabulary is so vast. There’s virtually an infinite number of college-level words one can learn. With these boundless opportunities for growth, the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can accomplish. All you need is a little ambition and a large vocabulary.

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June Vocabulary Challenge

How many of our recent Words of the Day can you use correctly in a 50-word story? We have published the winners of our May and June challenges.

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As a subscriber, you have 10 gift articles to give each month. Anyone can read what you share.

new vocabulary words for essay writing

By The Learning Network

Note: This is our final Vocabulary Challenge of the 2020-21 school year. We plan to publish a new calendar of vocabulary activities for the next school year by August.

Update: The winner of the June challenge has been announced. Read the winning entry from June, as well as the winners from May, at the bottom of this post.

Although we published our final vocabulary word for the 2020-21 school year on May 28, our June challenge provides one more opportunity for students to animate their writing with new vocabulary words.

Middle and high school students are invited to write a 50-word story drawing from the list of 19 vocabulary words published in May, which you can find below. We look forward to reading your entries.

Post any questions or feedback you have about this challenge in the comments, or write to us at [email protected]

The Challenge

Start by getting familiar with the 19 vocabulary words published in May. It may help to read the linked definitions and examples of how the words have been used in The New York Times.

Then, create a 50-word piece of writing in which you correctly and creatively use as many of the month’s words as possible. Submit your story (or poem, or song) by commenting on this post between now and June 15.

Here is what we are looking for:

It is most important that you use each vocabulary word correctly — according to its definition. We will not consider any entries in which a word is used incorrectly.

Try to use as many vocabulary words as possible, without crossing a line into gibberish or inanity . Do not simply list the words; we are looking for entries that demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary.

Finally, we are looking for pieces of writing that are creative, original and make sense. Your comment can be fact or fiction, silly or serious; we care most that you learn new vocabulary and have fun.

And here are a few more rules:

Your story must be 50 words or fewer .

Identify your vocabulary words by writing them in ALL CAPS (see the bottom of this post for examples).

Entries must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on June 15 to be considered .

Submit your entry as a comment on this post.

It is acceptable to use a word in a different tense or to use the plural of a word that is listed in the singular.

However, you cannot change a word’s part of speech. For example, since the word “ incentive ” is listed as a noun, you cannot substitute the verb “incentivize.”

Minimum Age Requirements: Middle and high school students ages 13 and older in the United States and Britain, and 16 and older elsewhere, can submit by commenting on this post. Teachers and parents can submit on behalf of students in middle or high school who do not meet these age requirements. If you are submitting on behalf of a student, please include the student’s name at the bottom of the comment.

Please submit only one story per student. You cannot edit your comment once it has been submitted.

We will recognize some of the most impressive submissions at the bottom of our next Vocabulary Challenge.

The Vocabulary Words

Your piece of writing should draw from the words below. Each word links to a Word of the Day post with the word’s definition and an example of how it has been used in The New York Times. To find more usage examples, consult the online dictionary .

zealous vestige wily benefactor disheveled topography parable elated quintessence rescind incentive kinship unkempt feasible cryptography deforestation tenable satire obtrusive

June Vocabulary Challenge Winner

Congratulations to Maia, the winner of our June Vocabulary Challenge. Her entry stood out for the way it introduced a memorable character and conflict in just 49 words.

Maia Nehme , age 15, Washington International School, Washington, D.C.

A DISHEVELED teenager with UNKEMPT hair typed furiously, editing a political SATIRE and an article on DEFORESTATION. An untouched pizza slice sat before her, the newspaper staff’s INCENTIVE from the Editor-in-Chief. The ELATED girl shut her computer, ready to go home. But then — “could you edit my story, too?”

May Vocabulary Challenge Winners

Congratulations to Shannon, Julia and Montgomery, who wrote about a fisherman’s hairdo, an intense athletic practice and a poisonous berry bush. Each of these students used several challenging vocabulary words to bring their characters and scenes to life.

Shannon Arnold , age 14, Mark T Sheehan High School, Wallingford, Conn.

The JAUNTY fisherman’s pride was in JEOPARDY. After a tragic piranha attack, his beloved chestnut locks were left GNARLED and patchy. His kindly wife BESEECHED that he WEND his way to the hairdresser and shave it. He, however, was IMPERVIOUS, and remained determined to — somehow — make his new look work.

Julia Mills , age 17, Mercersburg Academy, Mercersburg, Pa.

I exhaustedly WEND my way through the woods. My life’s in JEOPARDY. I WARILY try differentiating the edible berry bushes from the poisonous, but their resemblances are UNCANNY. I choose randomly. I chew slowly. My LAMENTABLE approach to this QUANDARY backfires, and my TRANSIENT munching ends soon thereafter. Wrong berries.

Montgomery Singer , age 17, Choate, Wallingford, Conn.

That day, Coach MANDATED 110% effort. Our TREPIDATION was tangible as the pain neared. We knew our QUANDARY: complete the exercise or put our positions in JEOPARDY. We BESEECH him, pleading for an alternative. His JAUNTY demeanor was impervious to our attempts. He bellowed, “Pain is TRANSIENT. Glory is immortal.”

Thank you to all who entered.

See every Word of the Day in this column .

The Word of the Day and the quiz question have been provided by . Learn more and see usage examples across a range of subjects in the Dictionary .

How to Improve Your Vocabulary for Writing & Speaking Success

Language is a powerful tool, and the better you are at wielding it the better your results will be. If you want to engage your audience and pique their interest, you need to develop exceptional written communication skills. A big part of improving your writing skills is simply learning how to improve your vocabulary .

Below, we’ll take a comprehensive look at why improving your vocabulary matter, and we’ll review a variety of methods that you can use to quickly grow your vocabulary.

Why Learn Vocabulary?

When you’re working as a writer, words are the only tool that you have available to help you communicate a personality, an emotion, or an idea.

Therefore, the more words you know and can use, the more likely it is that you will be able to find the perfect way to string together your thoughts into a message that will get the job done.

Having a large vocabulary allows you to say the same thing in a variety of different ways.

This means that you will be able to rewrite ideas from resources that you find without plagiarizing the original source.

You’ll also be able to better customize your message to specific audiences.

Of course, having a mastery of the English language will also improve the quality of your writing as well, and help you establish a sense of professionalism and expertise.

Is one of your dreams to learn how to write a book ?

Writing a book that is free of grammar and spelling errors will increase your chances of actually getting it published. By the way, this free guide to publishing books  will show you a lot more ways to improve your odds with a publisher.

In summary, if you intend to use written material to share a message or communicate with the masses, in any way, expanding your vocabulary is an excellent way to make it easier for you and for your readers.

Expand Vocabulary No Matter What Level

You may already have an impressive vocabulary or you may be starting out with only a basic set of words that you are able to pull from when you’re writing.

The good news is that no matter where you are starting out, the process for improving your vocabulary even further remains the same.

How to Expand Your Vocabulary as a Writer

Expanding your written vocabulary is, fortunately, much easier than expanding your speaking vocabulary.

The reason for this is that writing offers two big advantages that speaking does not: time to think and a backspace key, however this time to think, something introduces people to writer’s block .

When you’re writing, you’ll have all the time you need to search your mind (or a thesaurus) for the exact word that you need.

You’ll also have the ability to delete a word or a sentence and start over if need be.

Nevertheless, the goal is to eliminate the need for these things as much as possible.

Consulting a dictionary or a thesaurus every few minutes may be fine starting out, but it’s going to make for a slow, painstaking writing process.

You’ll be much better served by having a deep vocabulary that you can draw from at-will in your writing so that the words flow quickly and effortlessly from your mind to the keyboard.

Vocabulary Strategies

If you’re ready to start improving your vocabulary, there are a variety of strategies that you can employ. It’s important to note, though, that all of these strategies take time and effort.

Mastering the English language overnight is no more possible than it is to master any other skill overnight.

With that said, these strategies are still designed to help you improve your vocabulary skills as quickly and as effectively as possible.

Without further ado, let’s dive into some of the strategies you can use to expand your vocabulary.

How can I Learn Vocabulary Words?

Some effective strategies for learning new vocabulary words that you can put to use in your writing include:

1. Read…a lot

Reading everything you can get your hands on is one of the most passive and most effective ways to boost your vocabulary.

When you read, you’ll see new words put into use by writers who are likely to have a diverse vocabulary and you can add these words to your own vocabulary as you come across them.

The best part about reading to improve your vocabulary is that it doesn’t matter what it is that you read; whether it’s a how-to guide on the internet, a romance novel, or anything in-between, the simple act of digesting written material will drastically improve your vocabulary over time.

2. Keep a Thesaurus and a Dictionary Nearby

Dictionaries and thesauruses are the two most effective vocabulary-expanding tools that you have available, and you can use each of them in a slightly different way.

Whenever you come across a word that you don’t understand, look it up in a dictionary and take the time to commit the word and its definition to memory.

Meanwhile, you can look up words that you already know in a thesaurus at any time to find other words that mean the same thing.

Commit a few of those words to memory and you’ll have the ability to say the same thing in a number of different, more eloquent ways.

3. Make Flashcards

There’s a good reason why flashcards are a favorite memorization tool for students everywhere, and that reason is that they work well.

Start by putting together a few dozen flash cards filled with words that you don’t yet have committed to your vocabulary, and frequently add new flashcards to your collection.

If you run through these flashcards just once a day you will be well on your way to expanding your vocabulary.

4. Describe Your Surroundings

Whenever you’re sitting in traffic, relaxing at home, waiting in line at the coffee shop, or otherwise not preoccupied, try a mental exercise where you describe your surroundings in your head.

Do you know the name of everything in your setting?

What words would you use to describe the people around you?

Ask yourself questions such as this and paint a mental picture of the world around you using the most descriptive language that you can.

Exercises such as this will help you put the new words you use into practice in order to better commit them to your memory.

5. Listen to Music

In the same way that reading grows your vocabulary, listening can grow your vocabulary as well.

Listening to music is one good option, especially if you are listening to artists that are creative with their verses and rhymes.

However, listening to podcasts, audiobooks, and more can also improve your vocabulary over time as well.

6. Commit to Learning One New Word Every Day

Learning just one new word a day isn’t a particularly challenging goal, yet it is one that can make a dramatic difference in your vocabulary.

Each day, choose a new word to memorize and try to use that word as often as you can throughout the day.

Daily Vocabulary Words

Learning just one new word every day is a highly effective way to incrementally expand your vocabulary over time.

To use this method, you can pick a word at random from the dictionary or you can use one of many daily vocabulary word programs that will send a new word to your inbox each day. and other online dictionaries also feature a new word each day on the homepage of their website that you can check out.

However, you choose your daily word, though, take the time to memorize the word and try to use it as much as possible in conversation or in your mind throughout the day.

If you give your daily word enough focus, you should be able to make it a permanent part of your vocabulary after just 24 hours.

Learn a New Word a Day

Learning a new word a day is such an effective strategy thanks to the fact that it requires only a minimal amount of commitment and effort yet still allows you to add a new word to your vocabulary each and every day.

If there’s only one vocabulary-building strategy that you choose to implement, it should be this one.

Vocabulary List

An effective addition to your strategy of learning a new word a day that you might want to consider is keeping a list of the words that you choose to learn along with their definitions.

If you keep a list such as this, you’ll be able to review it from time to time in order to further commit your daily vocabulary words to memory and ensure that you don’t forget them as time goes by.

Your list will also serve as a visual example of how much your vocabulary has expanded, which can be a big motivator to keep up your progress.

Vocabulary Practice

Learning new words alone isn’t enough to truly improve your vocabulary; in order to make the words you memorize a functional part of your vocabulary that you can use in your writing, you also need to put the words you memorize into practice.

In the next section, we’ll look at some activities and exercises that you can use in order to practice using the words that you learn.

Vocabulary Activities to Help You Grow

There are plenty of effective activities that you can use to put the words you learn into practice as well as learn new vocabulary words in the process.

These activities include things such as:

1. Vocabulary Games

There is a wide range of online games designed to help you improve your vocabulary.

These games can serve as a fun and entertaining way to learn new words and put the words that you already know into practice.

Many online dictionaries such as offer free vocabulary games, and a quick Google search for vocabulary games will turn up even more options.

2. Vocabulary Test

Vocabulary tests allow you to test your current vocabulary and receive a score at the end of the test that lets you know what level you are on. In addition to improving your vocabulary by exposing you to new words, these tests also allow you to gauge your progress so that you will know if and by how much your vocabulary is improving.

As with vocabulary games, a wide range of vocabulary tests can be found with a quick Google search .

3. Vocabulary Quiz

Vocabulary quizzes are similar to vocabulary tests, but are typically shorter and may not provide a very detailed analysis of your vocabulary level once the quiz is complete.

Nevertheless, vocabulary quizzes are still a great way to practice your vocabulary and measure your results.

4. Vocabulary Worksheets

Vocabulary worksheets come in a wide range of formats.

Some can be completed online while others can be printed off and completed by hand, and the exact goal and instructions for the worksheet vary from worksheet to worksheet.

Whatever format you choose, though, vocabulary worksheets are a great way to practice your vocabulary skills.

What is the Best Way to Learn Vocabulary?

There is no single best way to learn vocabulary, and the most beneficial approach will come from implementing a number of different practices and strategies.

Hopefully, this guide has given you plenty of vocabulary-building methods for you to consider implementing.

If you choose a handful of these methods and commit to them each day, you can rest assured that your vocabulary will improve over time, helping you write more effective content for your business.

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The following “Elements of the Academic Essay” provide a possible vocabulary for commenting on student writing. Instructors in the Harvard College Writing Program tend to use some version of this vocabulary when talking about and commenting on student writing, so it’s likely that your students will be familiar with some of the terms and concepts below. Using these terms consistently when you comment on student writing will help your students see patterns in their own writing that might otherwise remain elusive to them. 

What the essay is about:

1. Thesis: your main insight or idea about a text or topic, and the main proposition that your essay demonstrates. It should be true but arguable; be limited enough in scope to be argued with available evidence; and get to the heart of the text or topic being analyzed (not be peripheral). It should be stated early and it should govern the whole essay. 

  Why it matters:

2. Question, Problem, or What’s at Stake: the context or situation that you establish for your argument at the start of your essay, making clear why someone might want to read an essay on this topic or need to hear your particular thesis argued (why your thesis isn't just obvious to all, why other theses might be less persuasive). In the introduction, it’s the moment where you establish “what’s at stake” in the essay, setting up a genuine problem, question, difficulty, over-simplification, misapprehension, dilemma, or violated expectation that an intelligent reader would really have.  

What the thesis is based on:

3. Evidence: the data — facts, examples, or details — that you refer to, quote, or summarize to support your thesis. There needs to be enough evidence to be persuasive; the right kind of evidence to support the thesis; a thorough consideration of evidence (with no obvious pieces of evidence overlooked); and sufficiently concrete evidence for the reader to trust. 

What you do with the evidence:

4. Analysis: the work of interpretation, of saying what the evidence means. Analysis is what you do with data when you go beyond observing or summarizing it: taking it apart, grappling with its details, drawing out the significance or implication not apparent to a superficial view. Analysis is what makes the writer feel present, as a thinking individual, in the essay. 

Evidence and analysis add up to. . .

5. Argument: the series of ideas that the essay lays out which, taken together, support the essay’s thesis. A successful argument will do more than reiterate the thesis, but rather make clear how each idea develops from the one before it (see “Structure,” #7 below). The argument should show you not only analyzing the evidence, but also reflecting on the ideas in other important ways: defining your terms (see #8 below) or assumptions; considering counter-argument — possible alternative arguments, or objections or problems, that a skeptical or resistant reader might raise; offering a qualification or limitation to the case you’ve made; incorporating any complications that arise, a way in which the case isn’t quite so simple as you’ve made it seem; drawing out an implication , often in the conclusion.

Where the evidence comes from:

6. Sources: texts (or persons), referred to, summarized, or quoted, that help a writer demonstrate the truth of his or her argument. In some arguments, there will be one central primary source. In others, sources can offer (a) factual information or data, (b) opinions or interpretation on your topic, (c) comparable versions of the things you are discussing, or (d) applicable general concepts.

How to organize the argument:

7. Structure: the sequence of an argument’s main sections or sub-topics, and the turning points between them. The sections should follow a logical order which is apparent to the reader. But it should also be a progressive order — they should have a direction of development or complication, not be simply a list of examples or series of restatements of the thesis ("Macbeth is ambitious: he's ambitious here; and he's ambitious here; and he's ambitious here, too; thus, Macbeth is ambitious"). In some arguments, especially longer ones, structure may be briefly announced or hinted at after the thesis, in a road-map or plan sentence.  

The argument is articulated in part through:

8. Key terms: the recurring terms or basic oppositions that an argument rests upon. An essay's key terms should be clear in their meaning and appear throughout; they should be appropriate for the subject (not unfair or too simple — a false or constraining opposition); and they should not be clichés or abstractions (e.g., "the evils of society"). These terms can imply certain assumptions — unstated beliefs about life, history, literature, reasoning, etc. The assumptions should bear logical inspection, and if arguable they should be explicitly acknowledged. 

You keep the reader clear along the way through:

9. Transitions and signposts: words that tie together the parts of an argument, by indicating how a new section, paragraph, or sentence follows from the one immediately previous (transitional words and phrases); and by offering “signposts” that recollect an earlier idea or section or the thesis itself, referring back to it either by explicit statement or by echoing earlier key words or resonant phrases. 

10. Orienting: brief bits of information, explanation, and summary that orient readers who aren’t expert in the subject, enabling them to follow the argument, such as: necessary introductory information about the text, author, or event; a brief summary of a text or passage about to be analyzed; pieces of information given along the way about passages, people, or events mentioned. 

Addressing your readers involves:

11. Stance: the implied relationship of you, the writer, to your readers and subject. Stance is defined by such features as style and tone (e.g., familiar or formal); the presence or absence of specialized language and knowledge; the amount of time spent orienting a general, non-expert reader; the use of scholarly conventions of format and style. Your stance should be established within the first few paragraphs of your essay, and should stay consistent.

12. Style: choices made at the word and sentence level that determine how an idea is stated. Besides adhering to the grammatical conventions of standard English, an essay's style needs to be clear and readable (not confusing, verbose, cryptic, etc.), expressive of the writer's intelligence and energetic interest in the subject (not bureaucratic or clichéd), and appropriate for its subject and audience. 

And last (or first):

13. Title: should both interest and inform, by giving the subject and focus of the essay as well as by helping readers see why this essay might be interesting to read.  

Word Counter Blog

25 Ways to Improve Your Writing Vocabulary

learn new vocabulary

Building your vocabulary is one of the easiest ways to improve the power of your writing and make any writing task that much easier, as you will have several synonyms in your repertoire to pull from every time. Developing your vocabulary need not be difficult or painful. Here are 25 ways you can improve your writing vocabulary every day.

Use New Words

Use a word immediately after you learn it. Try to make a game out of using a new word as soon as you learn it. Every day, try to slip in a new word into the conversation, a journal entry, an assignment or an email to a friend. Do this as often as possible, and repeat the word to yourself.

Read Every Day

Once you’re out of school, word drills and assigned reading become things of the past. While these were tools for building your vocabulary repertoire while you were young, it doesn’t mean you should abandon reading. Try to read a well-written and edited essay, magazine article, book or news article every day. Nonfiction and technical books will quickly teach you new ways to think and speak with words you may be unfamiliar with, but any type of reading will help you along.

Learn Roots

Learn the roots of words. Most words in the English language are built from a common root, prefix, and suffix, usually with an origin in the Greek or Latin language. Once you learn a root, you’ll begin to understand more words that use the same root. For example, -duc- (Latin root word) means to lead or to make, such as in the words produce or deduce.

Use a Thesaurus

Keep a thesaurus handy. As you write, keep a thesaurus handy and use it when you find yourself using a word too often, or using a word that you know doesn’t quite convey the right meaning. This will help you better express yourself, and you’ll also learn a new word in the process.

Develop Practical Vocabulary

This means you should start by learning words that express what’s important to you for the task at hand. A good example of this is learning trade language or words you use often in a hobby or vocation. Rather than immediately turning to cliches or jargon that’s tossed around, look for clearer words to express to peers what you’re writing about.

Learn New Words Every Day

To improve your vocabulary quickly, make an effort to learn at least one new word every single day. There are plenty of ways to do this, such as a Word of the Day calendar or email list, or simply picking a word from a thesaurus or dictionary.

Look up Words You Don’t Know

How often do you come across words that are unfamiliar as you read? Don’t just gloss over them; take the time to look them up, and if you don’t have the time right then, write them down and look them up later.

Keep a Journal

Journaling won’t just help you develop your writing style, it will also help you improve your vocabulary. Try to use new or interesting words you’ve learned recently into a journal entry for the day or the week.

Identify Empty Words

You’re probably familiar with empty words in your speech (such as “uh” or “um”), but your writing probably has empty words as well. Look for these empty words in your writing that do not offer any substance to your reader and replace them with something more appropriate. The same principle applies to phrases and sentences, so make sure that you haven’t used six or seven phrases to say something that could be better communicated in one sentence filled with carefully-chosen words.

Diversify Your Reading List

If you tend to read the same sort of things day in and day out, you may not be exposing yourself to a wide enough range of vocabulary. Diversify the topics you read to include natural science, Shakespeare, contemporary literature, politics, history, philosophy or any other topics you think you may enjoy.

Do Word Puzzles

Word puzzles in the newspaper or a magazine aren’t just a fun way to fill time, they’re also perfect for boosting your working vocabulary. Crossword puzzles are a challenge that get your brain working hard to search your memory for words you do know but don’t use, and this can help you move words from your memory banks into your working set of vocabulary which will come across in your writing.

Try Word Board Games

There are plenty of word games on the market designed to improve vocabulary and language skills without being a bore. Some of these games you may have played as a child, so it’s time to break them out again and get to “work.” If you have a friend who could also use some help — or someone with a great vocabulary you think will challenge you — invite them over for a game night.

Practice New Words in Divergent Ways

It takes between 10 and 20 repetitions to make a new word a part of your vocabulary. To help the word settle into your mind and memory, write it down (both the definition and a sentence you make up using the word), use it in conversation, include it in an email or any other way you can think of.

Make up Associations

Start by saying the new word aloud, then relate it to a word you already know. A good example of this is gargantuan, which means “very large” or “gigantic.” Say a sequence aloud: small, medium, large, very large, gargantuan. Then list things you think are gargantuan.

Use Mnemonics

Mnemonic techniques are memory tricks you can use to remember new words. You may remember a word by sounding it out and thinking of a funny sentence that matches the meaning, such as turning egregious (extremely bad) into “Don’t let that smelly rotten egg reach us!”

Visualize New Words

Research shows that visualization is a great way to remember new words and their meanings. A good example of this is the word stratovolcano, which is a high, pointed mountain with a violent explosion. One way to remember this meaning is the fact that the prefix “strato” sounds like “straight-oh,” which may make you think of a straight ruler or a “straight-o-volcano,” which describes the word’s definition.

Make Your Own Vocabulary Tests

Keep a list of the new words you learn each week and incorporate into writing and conversation. At the end of each week, make yourself a quiz using the words to cement them in your memory.

Make Synonym Word Lists

Do you find yourself turning to the same word again and again in your writing? Grab a piece of paper and write it at the top. Next, brainstorm or use a thesaurus to generate a list of ten to twenty new words you can use instead. You can keep these lists in a vocabulary notebook and add to them whenever you learn a new synonym.

Take a Writing Course

There are plenty of online courses as well as in-person classes you can attend to boost your writing vocabulary and learn how to use new words correctly. Try to find a self-paced course that uses assignments and quizzes to hep you increase fluency and brush up on your writing skills. Some classes are aimed at essay writing or creative writing, so you can find a class that will help you improve the style you need the most help with.

Edit Your Own Writing

After you finish writing, be your own editor and go though the piece with a fine-toothed comb to identify overused and nondescript words with something more precise or colorful. Editing is an important process for spotting writing errors, but it’s also great for improving the tone, style, and clarity of your writing. It might help to read the sentences aloud, then note any lack of precision. Search through your memory for more descriptive words, or consult a thesaurus if you need to.

As you replace words, remember that using a large number of complex words won’t necessarily clarify the meaning, and it may just make your writing more pompous. Ask yourself, “Do I know a better word to use instead?” You may replace “use” with “acquire” or “obtain,” or “do” with “perform.”

Move Words from Comprehensive to Expressive Vocabulary

You actually have two types of vocabulary: one is a much larger set of words you understand, even if only vaguely, and the other is a smaller set of words you actually use to express yourself. Moving words from your comprehensive, but passive vocabulary, to your active, expressive vocabulary is easier than you think. To do this, you’ll need to know how to define, pronounce and spell the words. Say them out loud and use them at every opportunity to move them into your active set.

Ask for Feedback

Do you think your writing could use some help? If you’re struggling with your written vocabulary, try asking someone else for help. A second set of eyes can offer a great deal of insight and spot problems you may not notice yourself, including poor word choice. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend, teacher, co-worker or someone online to review your writing for feedback on your vocabulary.

Carry a Dictionary and Thesaurus with You

How often do you find yourself with free time and nothing to do? Carry a pocket thesaurus or dictionary with you and you’ll find time to beef up your vocabulary while you’re waiting for an appointment, commuting to work or waiting for a bus. Whenever you have a few minutes to spare, read a page or two and learn a new word to add to your writing. It’s also a great idea to look up obscure words you don’t quite grasp that come to you on the fly as you go about your day. You can also use the dictionary or thesaurus to look up unfamiliar words you come across in your daily life.

Use College Preparation Tests

College prep tests that use SAT and ACT-type words are a great way to take your writing to the next level. This form of advanced study will challenge your mind and give you a new set of words to use that are practical and offer your writing the clarity it needs. You’ll also get the chance to brush up on the most important Latin and Greek roots and get a new set of words with activities to help move them into your active vocabulary set.

There are tons of non-board games that will help you improve your writing vocabulary while you have fun. Try downloading fun word games onto your phone or computer so you can get some practice while you unwind after a busy day. Some games are designed to build vocabulary skills, but there are plenty of others that will help you practice spelling, phonics, and even typing skills. There are even some designed for college students to prepare for testing and vocabulary-rich exams.

Hopefully, this list has given you an excellent place to start to build your vocabulary a bit at a time. If you think about it, there are opportunities all around you to develop this important skill, so spend time every day reading and listening to take in new words and then develop a system to incorporate these new words in your writing and speech. Before long, you’ll find your vocabulary has grown to a new level and your writing has gained the clarity you need with an ease you didn’t think possible.

Author: Jovell Alingod

(Image courtesy of Michael Coghlan )

One of the way to improve your vocabulary is to take up a vocab challenge.

Having a good vocabulary is more than knowing a large number of words. It is ability to choose words with greater precision and at the appropriate time.

Any type the word challenge to increase vocabulary is a great way to do this. I personally like to find five new words in the dictionary each day that I didn’t know the meaning to before them. I don’t always remember them all, but I do remember some and this helps me build my vocabulary.

Knowing when to use a word appropriately is far more important to knowing what a word means. It’s like all the students who study English and know the definition of the words, but can’t speak English. it’s the same thing here.

i agree with you Pratigya

well, I agree with you on that statement because most of the time my friend who is studying literature would use words that do not feel appropriate sometimes or just feel off

Linguistically there are two techniques for improving your lexical strength (vocabulary) :

Active learning and Passive learning

1. Passive learning: New words are acquired subconsciously, while doing some daily life stuff, like reading a newspaper.

Vocabulary is an abstract skill due to reasons like reading habits, family background, schooling, culture etc. The conventional methods are very generic and are made of masses. They do not allow personalised learning to an individual’s current vocabulary.

2. Active learning: Active learning methodology has become a preferred way to change the traditional teacher oriented classroom into the newer student oriented approach to learning. In active learning, acquisition of new words is done with conscious and great efforts.

Usually active vocabulary building is quite rigorous and boring due to its monotonous nature.

Thank you for this informative reply. I have never considered it in this way, but it makes a lot of sense. Active learning has always been tedious for me, but I really enjoy reading books, and this has helped improve my vocabulary greatly compared to my classmates. While I know I should spend more time actively learning new words, I feel a lot better knowing I’m subconsciously learning new ones everytime I pick up a book.

not clear meaning vocabulary

Reading is good “Passive” way of improving vocabulary, but when you are resorting to making lists, that is “Active” method. Problem with active method of learning words is that it is cumbersome and boring, and you doing retain and unless you use it in writing sentences to apply the word, very little chance is that you increase your lexical size.

I think it’s important to do both passive and active vocabulary learning. It’s true that you are going to have to figure out a way to make active learning interesting so that you can continue to do it long term, but there are ways to do that. I love getting up in the morning and looking at my new word for the day calendar in trying to figure out how I will use that new word sometime during the day. If you can find an easy way to incorporate active learning into your daily life, it can be fun.

You can improve your vocabulary by playing this different Wordgame based on the Oxford dictionary.

Hey Nicklas do you have a brother named Markus??

I’ve been trying to find good ways to improve the writing vocabulary of my students. Techniques to improve passive vocabulary are quite well established – SRS, etc. However, the jury is still out on the best strategies to improve active/writing vocabulary.

Have you found any to be effective since you left this comment? I’m looking for some good ways to improve my vocabulary and if you found some good ones, that might save me a lot of time experimenting until I found a good method. Anyone else who has had success improving their vocab is also welcome to chime in. I would love to get some good methods going.

thank you for these pics. I want to write but dont have many words.i will try to write daily and follow your tips to improve my vocabulary

I’d say, just start writing. You’ll start to learn which words you use are repetitive, and find words to replace them. It helps me to keep writing. Just because you don’t have a well defined vocabulary yet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start writing. You learn by positioning yourself to learn, then the waters of knowledge flows.

“the waters… flows.” Waters is your subject and requires a plural verb. Waters…. flow. “of knowledge” is a prepositional phrase and does not impact the verb.

Water is uncountable and it is a universal fact that ,it flows ,hence, i think it is “water flows”.

Exactly dude

This is so important to good writing. If you aren’t improving your vocabulary on a daily basis then you aren’t improving your writing. Thanks for so great suggestions on how to keep those new words coming!

This is something that many writers neglect to their own detriment. You should always be trying to improve your writing and these are some good ideas on how you can improve your vocabulary. Too many writers forget about this, and it shows in their word choices. Don’t forget to spend time improving your craft!!

I agree with this. It’s important to always be trying to improve whatever craft you have chosen to pursue. If your craft has something to do with words for speaking, improving your vocabulary is something that you should spend time doing. But this isn’t limited to just vocabulary. You should be trying to improve other areas of your craft as well.

Yo Starcraft do you play Minecraft???

I try to learn at least one new word every day to improve my vocabulary. I like to read a lot, and I can usually find a word that I’m not familiar with while reading. I will look up this word so that I understand what it means and then try to use it in conversation during the next week. If I don’t find the word while reading, then I’ll just randomly open up my dictionary to find a word that I wasn’t familiar with before.

I think this is a great habit to get into for anyone who wants to improve their vocabulary. If you do this for a while, you begin to love learning new words, and when you love doing something like this, it’s easy to build your vocabulary each and every day.

I’m curious if anyone actively tries to improve their vocabulary each day. If so, how do you do it? I would like to learn tips and tricks on how to improve my vocabulary each day. I look forward to seeing your comments on how I can do this.

I think it’s different for everybody. What will work for one person, won’t work for the next. Chances are you’ll need to experiment quite a bit with a variety of the different suggestions above in the article to find which works best for you. I know that I learned vocabulary very different than my friend does. She does it by rote learning using flashcards. That would drive me absolutely crazy. I like to learn new vocabulary in a more natural way. But each of those ways works for each of us.

I second that! You’ll have to spend time trying different techniques, and using the ones that work well for you. There is no magical answer! There is magic in the word ‘practice’. Allow yourself time to make mistakes, so you do not quit trying. I think often, we do not allow a little wiggle room. You can do this!

This is a pretty extensive list of ways one can improve their vocabulary. I find the best way to increase my vocabulary is to make the conscious effort to use words that I would not normally use in conversation. It takes some work to do this, but a lot of people say I have the best vocabulary of any person that they know. When you begin to learn a lot of new words, you become more articulate and are able to express yourself in ways you might not have been able to do before. I encourage everyone to give it a try.

Also, It pays to converse with people who can articulate outside of your normal word range. I listen to many people speak words that are outside of my range. You’d be surprised at the information that is stored in your subconscious when its time to pull out “that one word”. Try using it even if it sounds silly, others will help you learn too.

Having a big vocabulary isn’t always good, especially if you use it to try and show off like my friend. What’s the use of using words that most people won’t understand just to make yourself feel smarter than others? It’s much better to use words everyone understands so they actually know what you’re trying to say. Don’t act like a pompous jackass.

That’s not having a large vocabulary — that’s simply being an ass. being able to come up with the specifically correct word for a certain situation is a wonderful thing to be able to do. It’s not for trying to show off, but just to be able to express yourself accurately.

Some of us just think it’s fun!! 🙂

The thing that people forget is that it takes a bit of work to improve your vocabulary. It’s better to find ways that are enjoyable like reading books or a “word a day” email than trying to study them which can be boring. If you make it a game, it will be a lot more fun.

I agree that it’s important to find a way to enjoy learning new vocabulary rather than trying to learn it from the list. This is why he did vocabulary in school. All they would do is give you a list of words that you had to memorize. Why can’t teachers figure out a way to make learning new words more enjoyable than just memorizing lists? It seems like it would be a simple thing to do and then students would enjoy English a lot more.

What’s the very best way to learn vocabulary? There are always these lists of different ways, but nobody ever tells you the very best way. I want to know the best way to learn English vocabulary.

daily read English newspaper and magazines.

I not only became better to write and pass examinations at the university but also to improve my colloquial English. In fact, many people do not know even their own language. I’m writing a dissertation and just now I realized that I needed to increase my vocabulary. Without it, a person can not consider himself competent. To write a thesis is important not only choose an interesting topic, but also competently and clearly put down it on paper. Without it your ideas, your thoughts will not be able to understand people and professor – will not be able to evaluate your work. Thesis – that’s what I need, what I have to do for my future. And so I do not regret my time and effort to find more information about thesis writing. I do not cease to learn and improve my skills for my studies, for my future.

Very well said Nancy!

How do you know if you have a good vocabulary or not? Is there a standard number of words you need to know for others to identify you as having a good vocabulary? I think if there was a number of words everyone knows they needed to know, more people would try to reach that goal. As it is now, it’s difficult to know if I have an adequate vocabulary or not.

I’ve been working on improving my vocabulary for the last two months. I found that it was difficult to begin, but once I started, it became much easier. I try to do most of my vocabulary improvement through a lot of reading, but I do make an effort to look up words that I’m not familiar with while I’m reading instead of just passing them over or trying to guess their meaning.

I also try to use new words each day. For me at least, if I use the word I’m able to retain it much better. I would say over this last two months, I’ve been able to learn between one and five words a day and I’ve added well over 100 new words to my vocabulary.

It’s a great or impressive, certainly you made an effort , But me myself I was trying to polish up my Engish for the last months and I attempted to collect and Memorized some of them, but unlucky because I have not the suitable place which I can display my Vacapularies the people of my country do not speak The English Language , Give me your recommendation .

Vocabulary : start with simple words, like house hold, transportation, communication, vegatables, fruits, trees, animals, weekdays, months, numbers.

All basic vocabulary words. It seems like, you are a beginner, dont let people break you down. We are all human, nobody is better than the next.

Sickness and death, reach us all, rich and poor.

I’ve high respect for you mr english i respect your honesty an willingness to help

Does anyone visualize words to help them improve vocabulary? I started doing this a few months ago and it’s help me improve my vocab quite a bit. I’m a visual person, though, so that may be something that applies to me more than others. If you happen to be a visual person, try visualizing new words and you may be amazed at how many you are able to learn over a short period of time.

I like to visualize as well, but I have never done it with vocabulary building. It may be what I’ve been missing. I’m going to give it a try and see if doing so helps me retain more words.

This is something that everyone should be striving to do no matter their age. I think it’s important to teach kids at a young age how interesting words are so they can find value and love within them. Being curious about words and where they came from (and finding the perfect word for what you want to say) is a type of curiosity we’d all be better having.

Why do we need to learn so many different vocabulary words in school??!!?? All I do is spend hours and hours learning new words that I’ll never use when I’m older. It seems so stupid!

Knowing a large number of words will make you much more articulate in your conversations with others. Knowing words can help out in a lot of ways in life. Those hours of learning will pay off. You need to figure out a fun and entertaining way to learn those words.

Before you work on new vocabulary, you should make sure you already understand the basics. There is nothing worse than someone using big words while the small words are being incorrectly used. A sure sign the person thinks big words are important, but has no idea how to use words in general.

I don’t think these two things are exclusive. You can work on the basics and learn new vocabulary at the same time. It isn’t an “either / or” choice. Do both.

It depends on the person who learns the language. If he is a fast learner, he will learn both the basics and big words fast.

Melvin I am also practicing to write English like native speakers.if your English is good then help in writing passage I write a passage on some topic and you will point out my errors.I am so obliged if you help me

Melvin, I too am practicing to write English like native speakers. If your English is better than mine, then would you help me improve my writing. I will write a passage on a topic and if you would point out any errors I make it would help me greatly. I am very thankful for any help you provide.

I am a native English speaker and this is how I would have written the post.

Sure why not?

I am not agree with your ideas Because those people have not english native language Those people how to increase your vocabulary They read english but not understand because english is not whose native language

Please give me some 💡

I want to improve my english vocabulary

start reading books and blogs that you like to read everyday. Consistency is the major key of success in all kind of drills.

then I don’t have time to do something else

yes you said well

you’re are right!

“you’re are right!” ?? = you are are right! Contractions are wonderful when used correctly. There IS a word represented there….

You are so right. I am 40 years old i should know better I’m so rush to high up. In my learning I have a habit of skipping over the small and rush. Myself to the big ones

This looks like a great list of resources/apps. Using a variety of these should make learning vocabulary a breeze.

I don’t understand why so many people don’t like to learn new words. They are so interesting!

I am improve my vocabulary so u tell me why can I do

I am *improving my vocabulary so u *can *advise me *what to do Maybe you should study the Grammar Formation first;before u learn new words.

Woah! That was a little bit savage

No it wasn’t that’s a very good suggestion i myself think i should take go study it.

Hi Louis Alion, “Maybe you should study the Grammar Formation first;before u learn new words” I don’t know the other think. but for me, if you know only the grammar after that you can not make the sentence because of we don’t know new words.

I believe that you should do the same. Practice what you preach. There is always room for improvement, always.

Grammar and Vocabulary, goes hand in hand. Communication and Vocabulary, goes hand in hand.

Dont get confused.

learn vocabulary first

Maybe they have more and better work. Duhhhh!

the power writing is power of vocabulary

for learning the basic knowledge should be complete .every new knowledge need some basic knowledge first

Yes U r right

You are absolutely right Rudra.

Such a thanks for sharing these words and good experience for me ,I saw every point .who became me bold and improve my english skills .today i had built more confidence ,and promise you . I will improve my english as soon as possible Once again Thanks

Thanks for the advice I thing I’ve got an enough idea on how I will improve my grammar and vocabulary. 🙂

When I will summerise the article may be it would be like this, # Increase vocabulary # Read news paper # Play game


Thanks for writing this wonderful article, I have learned new words while reading the article.

I too learned lots of new words in your Article

It’s really helpful. keep it up!

My vocabulary is vry weak.vocabulary words are vry difficult to learn…

Then you have to study hard.

i really want to improve my vocabulary but ,i always loose concentration whenever i start reading a magazine or a newspaper

Good approach

It is a stepping stone. I am going to improve drastically

game part is not important

Thank for your marevlous explaniation

I enjoy learning new words,but I’m too lazy to do this! Hope that one day I will realize how important it is!

I think reading is quite important. It doesn’t only enrich your vocabulary. But also gives your new knowledges.

thank you for the tips

Hi It is good to know this knowledge.

Thanks, helpful tips. but I don’t understand some things due to my poor education background, wish I could get more explicited ones. But great job though

Great article!

I will give the IELTS test two month later as English isn’t my own language and I will be confused that what am l doing There are a lot of references and books and I don’t have a plan for test Please tell me what am l doing?

Like im in school, so this wasnt that useful. Thank u though about the thesaurus and stuff!

When I see a new word, I looking for a root of that and try to find it on some film and article and know the synonyms and how we can use it I myself use some applications like Word Up which is so useful for me because at the first you can see the root of word, meaning of that, synonym and also some film which help me alot. l recommend you to use it once 😊

Thank you for your valuable suggestions.

This tell how important on reading books or any materials that fully satisfy your vocabulary. And Verily important notice or learning to us, are keep reading books and love it. Specially in this new technological era where people really sucks on gadgets and any technologies . This article help me more.Thanks a lot. And keep it up!!

I want to prove my writing power and also professional email power.

I might try these!

I can say it depends on the person who is learning the language, because even though you are good at vocabulary, if you are poor in grammar your English will never be good, so if you ask me learn both of them at the same time….

Reading is life

Very helpful practical advice thanks

Hello everyone! This is a platform to learn and or improve one’s English speaking and writing abilities, so I think it would be best to help yourself as best as you can. I say this because, going through the comments, I noticed quite a handful of comments written in funny contractions. examples; ‘U’, ‘ur’, ‘re’, and the likes of which literally do not exist anywhere but the “Social media world”. No offense to anyone, but I think his will be a step toward improvement. Thank you!

This simple description sounds to be quite useful. I will try using these tips for my students.

Amazing ideas for a beginner

Best ways to improve self and others in speaking and writing , making choices of words to communicate in dynamic and vibrant manners.

I do appreciate the way you explained, how to improve Vocabulary! In fact, I was not at all comfortable with English Language but some how I managed to start communicating in English, as it was basic need to go ahead with my career. I am still facing issues in writing as my vocabulary is not that good. I will keep trying to get it improved everyday by adopting the ways you explained. Thank You!

I love to learn English how to read, speak and write Vocabularies

I think new words can be practicing by speaking and writing daily on going situation in world . Otherwise native environment in common atmosphere will never be much helpful to learn English quickly . Secondly seeker must have to think in English. Thirdly student must have to write his or her basic routine in English . That what he was doing in entire day on his diary

It is very essential or Vital to follow for the instruction and I will apply and abide by it in order to polish up my English Language.

my son, in junior high, asked his English teacher, “do you know another word for thesaurus? “

Don’t think that only big words is very important and useful but some small words is also there who can improve your vocabulary though there are small words

I get that but don’t big words make our vocabulary grow?

thanks that was very good example

It’s time to break the limits to become limitless and bending the reality.

Thanks very helpful

Very good indeed to have this opportunity to read the 25 way of improvement

I just almost glass over the word itself. Then I use google to find its meaning

It really nice. I’m perfect sure it will help me through the help of God. Thanks

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Four types of essay explained

new vocabulary words for essay writing

17 academic words and phrases to use in your essay

(Last updated: 20 October 2022)

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For the vast majority of students, essay writing doesn't always come easily. Writing at academic level is an acquired skill that can literally take years to master – indeed, many students find they only start to feel really confident writing essays just as their undergraduate course comes to an end!

If this is you, and you've come here looking for words and phrases to use in your essay, you're in the right place. We’ve pulled together a list of essential academic words you can use in the introduction, body, and conclusion of your essays .

Whilst your ideas and arguments should always be your own, borrowing some of the words and phrases listed below is a great way to articulate your ideas more effectively, and ensure that you keep your reader’s attention from start to finish.

It goes without saying (but we'll say it anyway) that there's a certain formality that comes with academic writing. Casual and conversational phrases have no place. Obviously, there are no LOLs, LMFAOs, and OMGs. But formal academic writing can be much more subtle than this, and as we've mentioned above, requires great skill.

So, to get you started on polishing your own essay writing ability, try using the words in this list as an inspirational starting point.

Words to use in your introduction

The trickiest part of academic writing often comes right at the start, with your introduction. Of course, once you’ve done your plan and have your arguments laid out, you need to actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and begin your essay.

You need to consider that your reader doesn’t have a clue about your topic or arguments, so your first sentence must summarise these. Explain what your essay is going to talk about as though you were explaining it to a five year old – without losing the formality of your academic writing, of course! To do this, use any of the below words or phrases to help keep you on track.

1. Firstly, secondly, thirdly

Even though it sounds obvious, your argument will be clearer if you deliver the ideas in the right order. These words can help you to offer clarity and structure to the way you expose your ideas. This is an extremely effective method of presenting the facts clearly. Don’t be too rigid and feel you have to number each point, but using this system can be a good way to get an argument off the ground, and link arguments together.

2. In view of; in light of; considering

These essay phrases are useful to begin your essay. They help you pose your argument based on what other authors have said or a general concern about your research. They can also both be used when a piece of evidence sheds new light on an argument. Here’s an example: The result of the American invasion has severely impaired American interests in the Middle East, exponentially increasing popular hostility to the United States throughout the region, a factor which has proved to be a powerful recruitment tool for extremist terrorist groups (Isakhan, 2015). Considering [or In light of / In view of] the perceived resulting threat to American interests, it could be argued that the Bush administration failed to fully consider the impact of their actions before pushing forward with the war.

3. According to X; X stated that; referring to the views of X

Introducing the views of an author who has a comprehensive knowledge of your particular area of study is a crucial part of essay writing. Including a quote that fits naturally into your work can be a bit of a struggle, but these academic phrases provide a great way in.

Even though it’s fine to reference a quote in your introduction, we don’t recommend you start your essay with a direct quote. Use your own words to sum up the views you’re mentioning, for example:

As Einstein often reiterated, experiments can prove theories, but experiments don’t give birth to theories.

Rather than:

“A theory can be proved by experiment, but no path leads from experiment to the birth of a theory.” {Albert Einstein, 1954, Einstein: A Biography}.

See the difference?

And be sure to reference correctly too, when using quotes or paraphrasing someone else's words.

new vocabulary words for essay writing

Adding information and flow

The flow of your essay is extremely important. You don’t want your reader to be confused by the rhythm of your writing and get distracted away from your argument, do you? No! So, we recommend using some of the following ‘flow’ words, which are guaranteed to help you articulate your ideas and arguments in a chronological and structured order.

4. Moreover; furthermore; in addition; what’s more

These types of academic phrases are perfect for expanding or adding to a point you’ve already made without interrupting the flow altogether. “Moreover”, “furthermore” and “in addition” are also great linking phrases to begin a new paragraph.

Here are some examples: The dissociation of tau protein from microtubules destabilises the latter resulting in changes to cell structure, and neuronal transport. Moreover, mitochondrial dysfunction leads to further oxidative stress causing increased levels of nitrous oxide, hydrogen peroxide and lipid peroxidases.

On the data of this trial, no treatment recommendations should be made. The patients are suspected, but not confirmed, to suffer from pneumonia. Furthermore, five days is too short a follow up time to confirm clinical cure.

5. In order to; to that end; to this end

These are helpful academic phrases to introduce an explanation or state your aim. Oftentimes your essay will have to prove how you intend to achieve your goals. By using these sentences you can easily expand on points that will add clarity to the reader.

For example: My research entailed hours of listening and recording the sound of whales in order to understand how they communicate.

Dutch tech companies offer support in the fight against the virus. To this end, an online meeting took place on Wednesday...

Even though we recommend the use of these phrases, DO NOT use them too often. You may think you sound like a real academic but it can be a sign of overwriting!

6. In other words; to put it another way; that is; to put it more simply

Complement complex ideas with simple descriptions by using these sentences. These are excellent academic phrases to improve the continuity of your essay writing. They should be used to explain a point you’ve already made in a slightly different way. Don’t use them to repeat yourself, but rather to elaborate on a certain point that needs further explanation. Or, to succinctly round up what just came before.

For example: A null hypothesis is a statement that there is no relationship between phenomena. In other words, there is no treatment effect.

Nothing could come to be in this pre-world time, “because no part of such a time possesses, as compared with any other, a distinguishing condition of existence rather than non-existence.” That is, nothing exists in this pre-world time, and so there can be nothing that causes the world to come into existence.

7. Similarly; likewise; another key fact to remember; as well as; an equally significant aspect of

These essay words are a good choice to add a piece of information that agrees with an argument or fact you just mentioned. In academic writing, it is very relevant to include points of view that concur with your opinion. This will help you to situate your research within a research context.

Also , academic words and phrases like the above are also especially useful so as not to repeat the word ‘also’ too many times. (We did that on purpose to prove our point!) Your reader will be put off by the repetitive use of simple conjunctions. The quality of your essay will drastically improve just by using academic phrases and words such as ‘similarly’, ‘as well as’, etc. Here, let us show you what we mean:

In 1996, then-transport minister Steve Norris enthused about quadrupling cycling trips by 2012. Similarly, former prime minister David Cameron promised a “cycling revolution” in 2013…

Or Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) aims to bridge the gap of access to electricity across the continent (...). Another key fact to remember is that it must expand cost-efficient access to electricity to nearly 1 billion people.

The wording “not only… but also” is a useful way to elaborate on a similarity in your arguments but in a more striking way.

new vocabulary words for essay writing

Comparing and contrasting information

Academic essays often include opposite opinions or information in order to prove a point. It is important to show all the aspects that are relevant to your research. Include facts and researchers’ views that disagree with a point of your essay to show your knowledge of your particular field of study. Below are a few words and ways of introducing alternative arguments.

8. Conversely; however; alternatively; on the contrary; on the other hand; whereas

Finding a seamless method to present an alternative perspective or theory can be hard work, but these terms and phrases can help you introduce the other side of the argument. Let's look at some examples:

89% of respondents living in joint families reported feeling financially secure. Conversely, only 64% of those who lived in nuclear families said they felt financially secure.

The first protagonist has a social role to fill in being a father to those around him, whereas the second protagonist relies on the security and knowledge offered to him by Chaplin.

“On the other hand” can also be used to make comparisons when worded together with “on the one hand.”

9. By contrast; in comparison; then again; that said; yet

These essay phrases show contrast, compare facts, and present uncertainty regarding a point in your research. “That said” and “yet” in particular will demonstrate your expertise on a topic by showing the conditions or limitations of your research area. For example:

All the tests were positive. That said, we must also consider the fact that some of them had inconclusive results.

10. Despite this; provided that; nonetheless

Use these phrases and essay words to demonstrate a positive aspect of your subject-matter regardless of lack of evidence, logic, coherence, or criticism. Again, this kind of information adds clarity and expertise to your academic writing.

A good example is:

Despite the criticism received by X, the popularity of X remains undiminished.

11. Importantly; significantly; notably; another key point

Another way to add contrast is by highlighting the relevance of a fact or opinion in the context of your research. These academic words help to introduce a sentence or paragraph that contains a very meaningful point in your essay.

Giving examples

A good piece of academic writing will always include examples. Illustrating your essay with examples will make your arguments stronger. Most of the time, examples are a way to clarify an explanation; they usually offer an image that the reader can recognise. The most common way to introduce an illustration is “for example.” However, in order not to repeat yourself here are a few other options.

12. For instance; to give an illustration of; to exemplify; to demonstrate; as evidence; to elucidate

The academic essays that are receiving top marks are the ones that back up every single point made. These academic phrases are a useful way to introduce an example. If you have a lot of examples, avoid repeating the same phrase to facilitate the readability of your essay.

Here’s an example:

‘High involvement shopping’, an experiential process described by Wu et al. (2015, p. 299) relies upon the development of an identity-based alliance between the customer and the brand. Celebrity status at Prada, for example, has created an alliance between the brand and a new generation of millennial customers.

new vocabulary words for essay writing

Concluding your essay

Concluding words for essays are necessary to wrap up your argument. Your conclusion must include a brief summary of the ideas that you just exposed without being redundant. The way these ideas are expressed should lead to the final statement and core point you have arrived at in your present research.

13. In conclusion; to conclude; to summarise; in sum; in the final analysis; on close analysis

These are phrases for essays that will introduce your concluding paragraph. You can use them at the beginning of a sentence. They will show the reader that your essay is coming to an end:

On close analysis and appraisal, we see that the study by Cortis lacks essential features of the highest quality quantitative research.

14. Persuasive; compelling

Essay words like these ones can help you emphasize the most relevant arguments of your paper. Both are used in the same way: “the most persuasive/compelling argument is…”.

15. Therefore; this suggests that; it can be seen that; the consequence is

When you’re explaining the significance of the results of a piece of research, these phrases provide the perfect lead up to your explanation.

16. Above all; chiefly; especially; most significantly; it should be noted

Your summary should include the most relevant information or research factor that guided you to your conclusion. Contrary to words such as “persuasive” or “compelling”, these essay words are helpful to draw attention to an important point. For example:

The feasibility and effectiveness of my research has been proven chiefly in the last round of laboratory tests.

Film noir is, and will continue to be, highly debatable, controversial, and unmarketable – but above all, for audience members past, present and to come, extremely enjoyable as a form of screen media entertainment.

17. All things considered

This essay phrase is meant to articulate how you give reasons to your conclusions. It means that after you considered all the aspects related to your study, you have arrived to the conclusion you are demonstrating.

After mastering the use of these academic words and phrases, we guarantee you will see an immediate change in the quality of your essays. The structure will be easier to follow, and the reader’s experience will improve. You’ll also feel more confident articulating your ideas and using facts and examples. So jot them all down, and watch your essays go from ‘good’ to ‘great’!

new vocabulary words for essay writing

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new vocabulary words for essay writing

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Transitional Words and Phrases

One of your primary goals as a writer is to present ideas in a clear and understandable way. To help readers move through your complex ideas, you want to be intentional about how you structure your paper as a whole as well as how you form the individual paragraphs that comprise it. In order to think through the challenges of presenting your ideas articulately, logically, and in ways that seem natural to your readers, check out some of these resources: Developing a Thesis Statement , Paragraphing , and Developing Strategic Transitions: Writing that Establishes Relationships and Connections Between Ideas.

While clear writing is mostly achieved through the deliberate sequencing of your ideas across your entire paper, you can guide readers through the connections you’re making by using transitional words in individual sentences. Transitional words and phrases can create powerful links between your ideas and can help your reader understand your paper’s logic.

In what follows, we’ve included a list of frequently used transitional words and phrases that can help you establish how your various ideas relate to each other. We’ve divided these words and phrases into categories based on the common kinds of relationships writers establish between ideas.

Two recommendations: Use these transitions strategically by making sure that the word or phrase you’re choosing matches the logic of the relationship you’re emphasizing or the connection you’re making. All of these words and phrases have different meanings, nuances, and connotations, so before using a particular transitional word in your paper, be sure you understand its meaning and usage completely, and be sure that it’s the right match for your paper’s logic. Use these transitional words and phrases sparingly because if you use too many of them, your readers might feel like you are overexplaining connections that are already clear.

Categories of Transition Words and Phrases

Causation Chronology Combinations Contrast Example

Importance Location Similarity Clarification Concession

Conclusion Intensification Purpose Summary

Transitions to help establish some of the most common kinds of relationships

Causation– Connecting instigator(s) to consequence(s).

accordingly as a result and so because

consequently for that reason hence on account of

since therefore thus

Chronology– Connecting what issues in regard to when they occur.

after afterwards always at length during earlier following immediately in the meantime

later never next now once simultaneously so far sometimes

soon subsequently then this time until now when whenever while

Combinations Lists– Connecting numerous events. Part/Whole– Connecting numerous elements that make up something bigger.

additionally again also and, or, not as a result besides even more

finally first, firstly further furthermore in addition in the first place in the second place

last, lastly moreover next second, secondly, etc. too

Contrast– Connecting two things by focusing on their differences.

after all although and yet at the same time but

despite however in contrast nevertheless nonetheless notwithstanding

on the contrary on the other hand otherwise though yet

Example– Connecting a general idea to a particular instance of this idea.

as an illustration e.g., (from a Latin abbreviation for “for example”)

for example for instance specifically that is

to demonstrate to illustrate

Importance– Connecting what is critical to what is more inconsequential.

chiefly critically

foundationally most importantly

of less importance primarily

Location– Connecting elements according to where they are placed in relationship to each other.

above adjacent to below beyond

centrally here nearby neighboring on

opposite to peripherally there wherever

Similarity– Connecting to things by suggesting that they are in some way alike.

by the same token in like manner

in similar fashion here in the same way

likewise wherever

Other kinds of transitional words and phrases Clarification

i.e., (from a Latin abbreviation for “that is”) in other words

that is that is to say to clarify to explain

to put it another way to rephrase it

granted it is true

naturally of course

finally lastly

in conclusion in the end

to conclude


in fact indeed no

of course surely to repeat

undoubtedly without doubt yes

for this purpose in order that

so that to that end

to this end

in brief in sum

in summary in short

to sum up to summarize

new vocabulary words for essay writing

Improving Your Writing Style

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Clear, Concise Sentences

Use the active voice

Put the action in the verb

Tidy up wordy phrases

Reduce wordy verbs

Reduce prepositional phrases

Reduce expletive constructions

Avoid using vague nouns

Avoid unneccessarily inflated words

Avoid noun strings

Connecting Ideas Through Transitions

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

5 Ways to Incorporate Vocabulary in Writing

…fun vocabulary writing activities for middle and high school ELA…

…fun vocabulary writing activities for middle and high school ELA…

Teachers often want students to incorporate vocabulary in their writing. The whole purpose of vocabulary instruction is to expand students’ spoken and written vernacular. We can ask students to use their vocabulary in sentences or in stories, but those approaches are expected. In this post, let’s look at some less traditional methods for helping students not only understand their words at a deeper level, but also use them in writing with context clues.

Method 1: WORD POEMS

Diamantes are relatively easy to write. Students write the vocabulary word on the first line and a synonym or (for an added challenge) antonym on the last line. The lines in between have various types of context clues. Here is an example:

dark, gloomy

enshrining, mourning, honoring

grave, catacomb, crypt, repository

entombing, mummifying, burying

grievous, lamentable

As students create their diamantes, which seem simple, you will notice that many of them will choose to use a thesaurus. In order to come up with related adjectives, verbs, and nouns, students will need to get creative and explore synonyms. This experience deepens their vocabularies and associations with the words.

Ready to take it further? Ask students to write a paragraph explaining how the words in their diamante contribute to the positive or negative connotations of the original vocabulary word(s). For instance, most of the words in the example poem lean more toward a negative, depressing view of death. It makes us think of someone who lived an honorable life which, perhaps, ended too soon.

Relevant and engaging vocabulary writing assignments #MiddleSchoolELA #HighSchoolELA


Have students apply their vocabulary words to sentences about other classes. Why? This writing activity brings more meaningful connections than asking students to write random sentences, which they normally end up finding or adapting from online, anyway. Let’s take a look at what this might mean for a few SAT vocabulary words:

In Math, Mrs. Banks assigned an adequate amount of homework. It was just enough practice to reinforce the day’s lesson on one-variable equations, but not enough to feel like busy work.

The science project Ms. Rigsby assigned is a culmination of everything we have learned this semester. Thank goodness we get to work with a partner!

Our ELA teacher, Mr. Davis, has an insatiable appetite for reading. He is encouraging us to read 40 books this year!

After students write their associations, which, you may notice, can also be longer than one sentence, encourage them to draw pictures. What does an average amount of homework look like? What science concepts are involved in a culminating project? What would Mr. Davis look like if his appetite for books were insatiable?

Care to enrich the assignment? Have students write a little bit more for each word, incorporating different parts of speech or word patterns. To illustrate:

I did not adequately study for the math exam. Mrs. Banks did give us an adequate amount of homework during the course of the unit, but I didn’t complete it all diligently. As a result, my test score makes me feel inadequate .

If your students need practice with identifying word families, word parts, and related words, make sure to grab this free vocabulary resource .

RAFTS choice writing assignments

Method 3: RAFTS

RAFTs are a fun way to get students writing in different genres. If you’ve never used them before, the basic premise is to assign students a point of view from which to write, an audience, a format, a topic. For instance, students might use their vocabulary words in this situation:

Role: Shark

Audience: Fish of the Sea

Format: Apology Letter

Topic: Sending condolences for eating so many of their friends; plans to adopt a stringent vegetarian diet

Maybe condolences and stringent are the vocabulary words students are most focused upon, but they can use additional vocabulary words in their responses as well.

RAFTs have two major benefits, in my mind.

They allow students choices! Create several options, and have students choose one.

The topics are creative, which students often appreciate.

Vocabulary text messages assignment.jpeg


Our vocabulary words don’t always come from the literature we are reading, which is okay! However, that also means the tie between new words and reading responses isn’t always there. Ask students to incorporate their vocabulary words in all reading responses, even if they only use a small percentage of the words.

For instance:

If students are completing a double-entry journal, they can use their vocabulary words in the right-hand column under What I Think…

Students can also incorporate their words in journal responses during independent reading.

Include vocabulary words in one pagers and/or booksnaps .

Ask students to create a character “to do list” using as many vocabulary words as possible. For example, Madeline from Everything Everything might have a to-do-list that looks like this:

Find medical documentation that substantiates my “so-called” illness.

Forgive my mother for her egregious mistake of stealing away 13 years of my life.

Find a competent therapist to help me process these feelings of anger and confusion.

Figure out more of Olly’s strange quirks , like why he wears all black.

Tap or click on the image to grab a free vocabulary activity download!

Tap or click on the image to grab a free vocabulary activity download!


Make writing with vocabulary words a social activity via a gallery walk. While you can do this activity in any number of ways, here is what I recommend:

Hang large chart paper in various places around the room (one chart paper for each vocabulary word). Using 6 to 8 vocabulary words seems to work best, although you can use more if you have large class sizes or if students don’t need to rotate through every word before completing the activity.

At the top or in the center of each piece of paper, write a vocabulary word.

Have students work in small groups, rotating between stations.

At each station, students should come up with different ways to use that vocabulary word. Think of collocates - words that are often found together. Encourage students to draft sentences that use each vocabulary word with common collocates. Students can write one or two sentences, and the next small group of students will rotate and add onto what is already there.

To illustrate:

Group 1 - After the marathon, I guzzled so much water that I felt bloated . My throat had felt as dry as the Sahara Desert.

Group 2 - Why did I not guzzle milk , you might ask? Well, have you ever run a marathon? A gallon of milk doesn’t sit as well in your belly as a gallon of water .

Group 3 - Some people like to guzzle juice and coffee , but those individuals are generally eating breakfast, not running around the world.

Group 4 - If you choose to guzzle soda while running, that is your business, but I’d strongly advise against it.

Group 5 - Next time you decide to eat or drink greedily, I’d suggest guzzling some pizza and Kool-Aid while lounging by the pool. This marathon running is for the birds.

Group 6 - Now, let’s get in my gas guzzling car and go home.

I’d suggest modeling an example for students before asking them to write their own sentences during the gallery walk. Just project a vocabulary word on the board. Then, brainstorm some collocates. Finally, begin asking students to volunteer sentences that use the vocabulary word and a collocate. Once you have somewhat of a mini conversation on paper like the example above, they should have the idea.

When students have completed the gallery walk, assign one small group to each word, and have them share out.

I hope these methods help your students to use vocabulary in writing meaningfully. The goal should always be to engage students in practice that deepens their understanding of the word, associations with it, and ability to use the word in conversation and writing.


How to teach vocabulary in secondary classrooms, 5 creative reading response activities, 9 ways to help secondary students enjoy writing, resource spotlight:.

These vocabulary in writing activities are geared toward middle and high school students. Through creative and informative responses, students will practice using their words in memorable ways.

Vocabulary in Writing Activities.png


Melissa is the creator of Reading and Writing Haven  and a collaborative blogger on . 

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A middle and high school English teacher for over a decade now turned instructional coach, Melissa is an avid reader and writer, and she loves sharing ideas and collaborating with fellow educators. Melissa use her degrees in English, Curriculum & Instruction, and Reading as well as her Reading Specialist certification to ponder today’s educational issues while developing resources to help teachers, students, and parents make learning more relevant, meaningful, and engaging.

When she's not teaching, Melissa lives for drinking a good cup of coffee, loving on her family, working out, and contemplating the structure of a sentence as well as how she can lead her students to deeper reading comprehension (Melissa's true nerdy passions). 

Visit Melissa on Instagram ,  Facebook , or Twitter  for English teacher camaraderie and practical, engaging teaching ideas.

5 engaging ways to incorporate vocabulary in writing practice #SecondaryELA #Vocabulary

5 engaging ways to incorporate vocabulary in writing practice #SecondaryELA #Vocabulary

8 Ways to Expand your Writing Vocabulary

Looking for how to become a better writer? Start by improving your writing vocabulary. After all, the stronger your words are, the more powerful your writing will be.

But why is writing important? Why bother expanding your vocabulary and building your writing skills?

Reading more from a variety of sources can help improve your writing vocabulary. Try making notes about the new words you learn to help enhance the word power in your personal writing.

For starters, it may lead to fewer revisions during editing stages, meaning your essays and assignments won’t take as long to complete. And it may even result in higher grades for the work you turn in for class.

And who doesn’t want that?

There are many methods you can use to expand your vocabulary as a writer. Here are some tips on how to increase your word power.

1. Read More

Read a lot, and read from a variety of sources. Magazines, newspapers, blogs, novels, comics, and more can fill you up with new words you might never have seen without exploring these texts. The more words you put into your brain, the more words you will have available for you to use in your writing.

Reading other people’s writing can open your mind to a plethora of new words. (plethora=overabundance, excess.)

2. Look Up Words in a Dictionary

As you are reading more varied texts, you will come across words you don’t know. Don’t just simply gloss over them.

Instead, stop and look up the meaning of each new word. If you’re reading an e-reader, such as a Kindle, you just need to highlight the word and you’ll see the dictionary definition. and the Merriam Webster dictionary app are also helpful to have on-hand.

Taking the time to investigate the meanings will help cement the word into your brain for future use. It helps cohere the new word to your memory. (cohere=to stick to, cling.)

3. Keep a Word Journal

Once you’ve looked up new words using your dictionary, record each new word in a journal. This will put all of your new words in one handy space. Refer back to your journal often to review some of the vocabulary terms you have gained.

Make a goal to incorporate these words into your writing (for school, social media, personal journals, notes, etc). Actively practicing these new words in written form will help you improve your vocabulary.

You will soon acclimate to using your fancier vocabulary. (acclimate=make or become adjusted.)

4. Learn a New Word Each Day

There are numerous sites that can help you learn a new word every day. Merriam-Webster has a Word-of-the-Day feature that has a mini-podcast each day to give multiple examples of how to use the word. Collins Dictionary also offers a Word of the Day .

Using a dictionary (either online or in print) will help you discover the meanings of new words. You can also use apps and websites that teach you a new word and meaning each day.

As you visit these sites, make a note in your word journal of these new words. You can also visit an improve vocabulary app on your phone to get some word coaching on the go.

These circadian visits to learn words can help you stay on track with broadening your vocabulary. (circadian=daily.)

5. Use New Words Frequently in Conversations

Try out your new words verbally in daily conversations. Make a goal to incorporate one new word into your communication with others every day.

The more you speak and use new words, the more they will be committed to your memory. There’s definitely a connection between speaking and writing. Improving your spoken vocabulary also improves your written vocabulary and vice versa (or contrariwise .) (contrariwise=vice versa)

6. Play Word Games

Doing daily crosswords can help you step up your vocab game. There are online options or you can use the simple pencil-and-paper route.

Interactive word games like Scrabble and Boggle can be fun and educational for you and a group of your friends. Apps on your phone such as Words With Friends can also be entertaining ways to increase your vocabulary.

Many of these games are riveting . (riveting=fascinating, gripping.)

7. Choose Better, More Specific Words

Once you’ve started to learn new words and expand your vocabulary, choose better words in your writing. Certain vague words (like big or small ) should be avoided and replaced with specific, more descriptive words.

If the house was big, was it colossal? Enormous? Monstrous? Gigantic? There are better choices you can make with an expanded vocabulary. Using these precise words helps paint a clearer picture for your reader. It also helps your writing be less obscure . (obscure=not easily understood.)

8. Use a Thesaurus

If you’re trying to incorporate more specific words, it’s helpful to use a thesaurus. When you see a vague word in your essay, look it up in a thesaurus and pick a more accurate and effective word.

OneLook has a thorough thesaurus that is extremely helpful. Or should I say practical? Beneficial? Handy? The thesaurus helps you find the exact word you are looking for. It will ameliorate your word choices. (ameliorate=make, become better.)

Becoming a better writer means choosing better words in your writing. The more specific and interesting your words are, the more engaging and comprehensible your writing will be. With a small amount of daily effort, you can increase your vocabulary and take your writing to the next level.

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How to Use Better Vocabulary in Essay Writing

in Newton Desk Leave a comment 6

Writing is not a piece of cake compared to the times at junior schools when you had to write short essays (essay writing) without many requirements. Colleges, universities, and, of course, internships will need from you the utmost art, creativity, and objectivity. How to achieve it? Boost your vocabulary that will help you communicate better, and, occasionally, sound smarter. The more terms you are aware of, the higher chances to deliver your arguments properly. Let’s check how to use better vocabulary.


Building Excellent Vocabulary at Ease (essay writing)

If you want to become a better writer, your originality is only half of the deal. Yes, professors might increase your grade by overlooking the creative approach in your paper, however, poor language can spoil it all. The first tip which will greatly assist you is to refer to an essay writing service for getting custom-written papers online from academic experts. They are free and give students an opportunity to see how a professional paper should be written, and what vocabulary is present there. Then, you can also develop an understanding by checking online samples from Google. See how one or another writer manages to demonstrate their considerations on the topic. 

better vocabulary use in essay writing

Yet, how to build your vocabulary without third parties?

(1) Read More (essay writing)

Depending on your goals, such as studying progress, internship, and job, you should read the appropriate materials. For instance, essays will require a more academic approach with books of classic authors. From there, you will build a vocabulary with terms, beautiful language, and native authors’ expressions. If you study journalism or related specializations, reading magazines and newspapers will help familiarize you with typically journalistic terms, and grammar aspects especially aimed at hooking readers’ attention. While, if you are concentrated on running a social media page, other influencers’ accounts may greatly assist with text call-to-action statements.

(2) “Keep Your Finger on the Pulse of” Dictionaries

If you regularly read books and then have essays on them, you are most likely to require the assistance of dictionaries. It especially concerns the events when your essay is dedicated to one particular term, and you have to study it throughout. For instance, you may read materials using the Kindle app because there, by highlighting one word, you can directly get to know its definition. Otherwise, download such an app as Oxford Dictionary . You may think about how it will help you build a vocabulary. In simple terms, you have to create a list of terms, and other necessary words and keep that list as a crib note. By overlooking them regularly, you will memorize them.

(3) Make a Habit of Learning a New Word Everyday

You can do it alone just by reading books or by referring to such services as Merriam-Webster . They have a word of the day which you can memorize and then apply for your writing attempts. Another source is Collins . The same concerns mobile apps, which may remind you about new words with their screen widgets. After one month of practicing such learning, you will power your vocabulary with many new words.

(4) Play Games

There are two ways – organize an extra class with other students or play online. For instance, you can ask a professor to gather a group of students where they will learn and research new words for powering their essays with good vocabulary, while a professor will guide you with it. Or, create a chat in any messenger where students will share their new insights into an academic vocabulary. One student is assigned to a particular day when they will share one word and explain its definition.

(5) Create Flashcards

If possible, you can use sticky notes with necessary terms and beautiful words for your writing. You can allocate them across your desk or on the walls, and you will overlook them while completing your paper. One tip for smart students – do not try to overload your essay with many terms or rarely used words because they will simply distract a reader or professor from the key arguments.

(6) Go For New Words Conversations

Such an approach helps to again memorize the newly learned words for further usage in essays. If your friends or other students find it strange, ensure to explain to them why you speak one or another way. It concerns both eye-to-eye conversations and online communication with your pals. You will be surprised to understand that you help others to learn new vocabulary, so you can play a vital role in improving your professors’ impression of your group.

(7) Make a Stop-List of Words

One of the enemies of every student is filler words. They cannot be considered good vocabulary for any paper. Do one thing – overlook what words you use the most during one week or month, and find which does not sound good or classified as slang. Write them all down and practice avoiding them in your future work. Another assistant with them will be Grammarly . This service does not only correct your spelling, and grammar mistakes but also hints at wordy sentences and rare words that should be avoided.

(8) Research Synonyms (essay writing)

Let’s take as an example the word GOOD. There is nothing bad in using it, but overuse of it may greatly affect your grade. Refer to dictionaries of synonyms or online helpers, where it can be presented with a list of alternative words which will fit your essay context. It concerns not only GOOD but BAD, OKAY, and other popular filler words. 

Last but not the least tip for all students in building better vocabulary for English essays is word count compliance. Yes, by adding new vocabulary and showing your professors your dedication and knowledge in making something beautiful on paper, do not overload the work with words just to reach a word count. Some students add many descriptive words, hence, make their sentences very long. It does not all look good. If you still require some help, professional writing services may assist you with vocabulary as well, and fulfill all your requests regarding affordable essays.

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