A novel way to update your vocabulary could be through a word of the day desk calendar. Although, some of the words from the calendar may be a bit too archaic for your purposes, there is a better approach to expanding your academic vocabulary. Consider first the words you overuse. We get so comfortable with a common set of terms and don’t realize that we’re being repetitious with them. Hunting down a thesaurus for a simple swap can be ideal at certain times, but it may be a good opportunity to explore the explanation you’re searching for.
Start the word building process by making a simple list. You can start your exclusion list in Word or through Google Docs. Set up some boundaries for yourself on when to use those specific words. If you’re unsure of how frequently you use certain words or terms then just do a search in your next paper or discussion post. If you’re seeing it repeated more than a few times in short paragraph then it could be time to add to an exclusion list.
To gain some perspective browse through your peers posts and how they use certain academic words. Does it sound like they have a command of that language, or are they using the “big words” to garnish their posts? You won’t want to look like the latter, and the best way to avoid that is to get comfortable using the new words by doing a swap. Go a step further with your “skip list” and add a word that’s similar or possibly enhances the meaning. Eventually you’ll get to the point where it becomes natural to avoid using the same word repeatedly, and will prefer to look for alternatives to truly illustrate your meaning.
By J. Mason
Online Learning Tips Editor