One aspect about being regarded as “smart” is how well you use words. The more words you know, the better. Now the question is, how do you improve your vocabulary? How do you add new terms into the bag of words you already know?
In a word, the way to this is by reading. You have to read. And in the process of reading, if you come across a word you do not recognize, write it down, and look it up.
Where should you write it down? In a little notebook, or some other similar document. Then you need to go to the dictionary and look up the word. Study the definition and use it in a sentence or two, and really imbed this new word into your mind.
You will be surprised at how quickly your vocabulary develops in a short time.
In this day and age, there are tools you can use to really develop your mind. For one, iPads and smartphones are great for learning. If you are on your iPad, you can copy and paste the unknown word into an online dictionary. This allows you to learn about the word right away. One of the best dictionaries I have come across is www.onelook.com – it is quick and easy to use and right there at the end of your fingertips.
This is where electronic versions of books have an advantage over print books. Reading a book on an iPad or other Internet-connected device allows the reader to instantly access Onelook or other online dictionaries to learn a new word or phrase. In the “old days,” one had to stop reading, get up and find a dictionary, lookup the word by flipping pages, and then learn the new word.
Today, about three of those steps have been eliminated and learning a new word can be accomplished simply and quickly from the same space you are occupying as you read.
You really must learn and use knew words daily. If you are still in high school, you will impress your teachers. If you are about to enter college, or are already there, an increase in your vocabulary will greatly help your writing skills. This will lead directly to higher grades for your writing assignments.
How do I know these things? Well, let’s just say many of my students who are well-written make better grades…