3 Ways to Increase Your Vocabulary and Write Better Papers

Some people are endowed with more, what is known as “verbal intelligence” than others, and have an easier time absorbing and utilizing language. That is not to say, however, that those who make an effort to constantly work on their language skills cannot and will not possess an impressive vocabulary. The words you know matter, especially in college. Below are three ways to increase your vocabulary and write better academic papers. 

Word Games 

Playing word games is something students can do to pass the time while also making great improvements to their vocabulary. Games like Scrabble, when played regularly, help you develop your linguistic flexibility and fluidity by forcing you to rely on your verbal intelligence and come up with winning combinations.

If you are new to Scrabble or feeling rusty, keep in mind that there are websites out there like Unscramblex, which help you unscramble letters to find words and score points. In addition, Scrabble is very often free to play on both your desktop and mobile, so you can play it and work on your vocabulary on the go. A deeper vocabulary means more words and terms to draw upon when writing your papers. 

Be Curious

You can absorb many grammar and syntax rules simply by reading, but if you want to build a truly impressive vocabulary, you have to want to know what those unknown words and expressions mean. 

Before the internet, this required you to open a dictionary or ask someone more knowledgeable than yourself. Now, a simple search engine search will give you everything you could want to know about a word or phrase. So every time you encounter something unfamiliar, take a few seconds and consult a search engine. 

Read More 

Any good writer will tell you that reading and writing go hand in hand. While reading is part of college education, reading well is something that you develop over time–both through instruction and repetition. The more you read, the more words and terminology you pick up, the more sentence structure and variety, as well as grammar and turns of phrase, you subconsciously add to your lexicon.

Over time, by seeing and using all of this, your writing becomes more fluid and generally comes out onto the page easier. Most college students struggle with essay writing because it takes them a while to find the proper word or phrase to complete a thought or accurately express an idea. Or, they use incorrect language and end up saying something they didn’t intend to say. 


Building a better vocabulary is something you do throughout your entire life. From the moment you start learning to speak, you are adding to a lexicon that allows you to express your thoughts and ideas throughout the rest of your life. During your post-secondary years, you will be required to put those thoughts on paper constantly, and the larger your vocabulary, the easier it will be to do that. Keep in mind the above vocabulary-building tips and write better papers throughout your education. 

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