A word of warning: words you find in a thesaurus can’t always be used interchangeably; even words with similar meanings can differ subtly in a way that makes them inappropriate in certain contexts, so find examples of a word used correctly before you use a new word for the first time.
– Learn prefixes, suffixes and roots – it sounds boring, but this shortcut will help you learn a great many more words.
So how do you take your essays to the next level and go from great to brilliant?
Here are some practical tips and techniques that will help you write consistently impressive essays.
Read different genres of fiction, and non-fiction covering a range of topics, and you’ll have the added bonus of widening your general knowledge as well as your vocabulary.
– Use a thesaurus – if you find yourself using the same words over and over again, add variety to your language by looking up those words in a thesaurus and finding other words that mean the same thing.It may help to have different sections for words on particular themes; you could have a general section, and then further parts of the notebook could be dedicated to words of use in history essays, science essays and so on.We’ve probably all had it hammered into us that we should write an essay plan before we start writing, but before you even do that, you need to know what the argument you’re going to make actually is.Read the opinion pieces and dissect how the writer has supported their points with evidence, and again, be critical; note where they’ve left things out to try to persuade you to a particular opinion.Essays should be balanced, so you can learn from the best of these writers and pick up some techniques to help you shape a balanced piece.Read essays on a wide variety of subjects, not necessarily just those that you’re studying; different disciplines might apply different kinds of arguments or styles, so the wider you read, the more possible techniques there are for you to pick up and use in essays of your own. Has the writer used any techniques you’ve not seen before?As you read other people’s essays, don’t just take them at face value. Another good source of essays is the broadsheet newspapers.For many such students, each essay brings with it the challenge of making it that little bit better than the last one.The problem is that when you write essays regularly, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of repeating the same formula each time – particularly when you already receive good feedback from the teachers who read them.Prefixes are added to the beginning of a word to change the meaning, such as “semi” or “ante”, while suffixes are added to the end, such as “-able” or “-ance”.– Start a vocabulary book – you probably have one if you’re learning a foreign language, so why not have one for your native language as well?