The most powerful tool you can have in your writing arsenal is a strong vocabulary. A good vocabulary will help you understand other people’s points of view, speak clearly and concisely, and make your writing more attractive to the reader.
There are many different methods for improving your vocabulary, but I’ve found a simple seven-step system to be the most effective.
STEP 1: Read Books & Watch Videos
This should always be the first step for any writer. If you’re not reading books or watching videos, then you’re doing it wrong.
I recommend reading fiction, non-fiction, and educational material. I’m a huge fan of reading classic literature. My favorite genres are science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction.
The best video content I’ve found is TED talks and lectures from the likes of Stephen Hawking, Bill Gates, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
STEP 2: Use a Thesaurus
The next step is to use a thesaurus to make sure your words are correct. Don’t be afraid to add or remove words to make your sentences more concise and easier to read.
STEP 3: Practice Writing with Vocabulary
When you write, think about how you would describe something in different ways. For example, if you’re writing about a person, imagine how you might describe them in terms of their physical appearance, personality, and interests.
If you’re writing an article about a place, think about how you’d describe the location in terms of the weather, the people who live there, and the culture.
STEP 4: Write & Read What You’ve Written
Writing and reading what you’ve written will help you become more aware of your own vocabulary. It’s also a great way to catch spelling and grammar errors.
STEP 5: Find Synonyms
Synonyms are words that have similar meanings. You can find synonyms by using a thesaurus or by looking at the words that other people use when describing a particular subject.
For example, if you’re writing about someone who has an interest in politics, you might want to look up the words “politician” and “activist” to find related words.
STEP 6: Review Your Writing
The last step is to review your work. When you write, you should always be making sure your words are clear and concise. If you’ve written something that isn’t clear or doesn’t make sense, take a few minutes to rewrite it until you’re happy with it.
STEP 7: Practice!
If you’ve followed all of the steps above, you’ve done something right. Now it’s time to practice!