7 Tips to Enrich Your Vocabulary and Become Articulate

A rich command of English can help you write persuasive arguments, read challenging literature, and finish crossword puzzles. At the interpersonal level, an expansive vocabulary can increase your dating prospects and open up more job opportunities. Being articulate boosts your confidence in all facets of life. Spend a few hours each week following these tips, and you will develop a more sophisticated vocabulary and improve your public speaking skills.

(1) Every week, read a thoughtful, challenging book. History and biography, literary fiction, science, art, and music genres are a rich source of new words and phrases. Subscribe to quality periodicals, such as National Geographic, The Economist, or The New Yorker.

(2) Every time you come across an unfamiliar word, write it down in a paper notebook or electronic journal. Record its definition, pronunciation, a few synonyms, and write an example of the word used in a sentence. Review your vocabulary notes every week so you can commit new words to memory.

(3) Join a book club that meets either in person or online. You can adopt the speech patterns of intelligent people by conversing with them about intelligent subjects.

(4) Read classic speeches from history. Important public figures and their speechwriters use language that is more elegant and expressive than what you hear in everyday situations. This is a great way to improve your vocabulary if you are a politics and history buff.

(5) Read and write letters to the editors of newspapers. This exercise will help you compose clear, concise, and logical arguments. Your letters may not get published, but imitation and practice will help you form more persuasive arguments and express your opinions intelligently.

(6) Re-learn the foreign languages you studied in high school or college. English has been heavily influenced by classical Latin and Greek, as well as by modern languages such as French, Spanish, and German.

(7) Make a schedule to practice vocabulary each day, or schedule longer study sessions on the weekends. Try to stick to your agenda; consistency yields the best results. Make monthly goals for yourself as well. For example, try to learn 7 new words each week, or read 5 new books every month. Discipline helps you retain knowledge.

© Had2Know 2010