When I first started out in writing, I struggled with my writing because I lacked the vocabulary necessary to express myself clearly. This was partly due to lack of exposure to the English language, but also due to a lack of proper training.
Since then, I’ve put together these seven simple steps that I use every day to improve my writing and develop a stronger vocabulary.
STEP 1: Start out with a blank slate.
It’s impossible to improve your vocabulary if you don’t even know what a word means in the first place. Start your vocabulary development by making a list of words that are common in your writing, as well as words that you already know and can use in sentences.
STEP 2: Use this list to find new synonyms.
After you’ve got your list, go through it and see what words you could use instead of each one. You’ll find that there are several words for each meaning, so it shouldn’t be too difficult. For example, the word “wonderful” can be replaced by “fantastic”, or “awesome”, or even “fantastic”.
STEP 3: Practice using new words.
There’s no better way to learn a new word than to use it in a sentence. It’s a good idea to write down a few sentences and then go back over them to make sure you’ve used the new word correctly. If you’re really stuck on a word, go to the dictionary and look up the definition.
STEP 4: Read more.
This is a common mistake that many people make. They think that they can get by with reading just a few pages at a time, but you’ll find that the more you read, the more words you’ll remember.
STEP 5: Keep an online vocabulary journal.
You can use any type of journal you’d like. I prefer to use Evernote, which lets me save my vocabulary development notes in a single place. You could also use a notebook, or even a Word document. Just make sure you do this regularly, as it will help your vocabulary develop much faster than if you wait until you have a free moment to do it.
STEP 6: Find a word of the day.
If you’re struggling to remember the right word, go back through your list and pick one word every day. It doesn’t matter how long it takes to come up with it, just make sure that you don’t skip a day.
STEP 7: Repeat steps 4-6.
As you repeat steps 4-6, you’ll eventually build up a strong vocabulary. Don’t worry about being perfect, just focus on building a strong foundation. The rest will come naturally once you start using the words you’ve been learning.