How do you learn new words and especially use academic language suited to a university? Expanding your vocabulary can make writing assignments easier and more enjoyable.  Here are a couple of tips:

  1. Firstly it is important to read as extensively as you can; absorb the language used in a scholarly journal article. Get into the ideas the author (s) is expressing and learn how to convey an academic argument.
  2. When searching a scholarly database like Science Direct take note of the language used and how the paper is written. Investigate the themes and how they are threaded together to deliver a convincing argument, or not (!).
  3. Buy a good quality dictionary and an extensive thesaurus to identify synonyms and antonyms. Remember to always keep them at your side when you are drafting your assignments.
  4. Read a quality newspaper like the Guardian or Independent regularly.  Newspapers are subsidised at the SU shop in the Main Building.
  5. For the slightly more ambitious reader fine literature penned from literary masters like Donne, Faulkner, Montaigne, Tolstoy, Zola or Flaubert to name just a few would be worth delving into, and get inspired to write more fluently.
  6. For anyone interested in the power of the written word it is certainly worth regularly visiting Maria Popova’s well-crafted Brain Pickings blog and particularly her piece on Kurt Vonnegut called ‘How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word‘.

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screenshot of the most renowned thesaurus available….