Vocabulary building techniques for writers

Written by: Naman Doshi

I’ve being a blogger and a freelance writer for a while now. There were lot of times when I utterly failed to convey my thoughts in the form of words. I had a scant vocabulary.

Until the day I decided to focus of my vocabulary. I did a lot of research and based on my experience, let me list out few things that might help you improve your vocabulary.


  1. Watch Documentaries and Television shows: This might seem cliche and rather stupid. But trust me, it works like a charm. Also, it’s the most entertaining means of learning. Jot down the words you find are good. Review those words. Try to implement them in your writing.

  1. Worship the Thesaurus: Try looking up synonyms of the words you often use and then use them. Look for synonyms and antonyms even for basic words like “Put” and the thesaurus will throw at you words like “Place” “Deposit” “Situate”. Even the simplest words can lend elegance to your language.

  1. Identify the empty words: You’re probably familiar with empty words in your speech (such as “uh” or “um”), same goes for your writing. No one likes to read things that are exaggerated. Look for these empty words in your writing and replace them with something more appropriate. If something can be said in a single sentence then don’t write a paragraph about it.

  1. Diversify your reading lists: Read about different topics daily. Let it politics or history or philosophy or technology. Be aware of fundamental words used in each field. If you’re reading same topics everyday then you’re probably not exposing yourself to whole new range of vocabulary.

  1. Make use of games and apps: It is the age of technology and there are thousand ways to learn new words and phrases. One of the interesting ways is to play puzzles, that will enhance your cognitive skills and sharpen your vocabulary. I love a game called as “Words with Friends”, It’s online puzzle and you can play with your friends. Also, there’s an app called as “VoLT” (Vocabulary Learning Techniques). I’ll personally recommend you to use the app. It is available for free on the android playstore. The unique thing  about this app is it provides you with numerous techniques based on the concept of association. The VoLT app tries to associate difficult but important English words with normal life events, funny stories, pictures and other self-tested effective techniques which will help the reader learn and retain while enjoying the whole process. Various usages, synonyms, and antonyms have also been provided along with each word. You can download it for free here.

I hope this helps you. Keep writing. Cheers!

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