How to Improve Your Academic Vocabulary

A common conversation that occurs between editor and author, is how the author might increase his/her academic vocabulary. Often authors can get repetitive when writing their manuscript, which affects the readability of the piece, and frankly, makes the work inherently boring to read.

Manuscript writing, while very technical and structured, is benefited by an artful touch in the use of words and in the variation in sentence length and structure. But how does one obtain this skill? Well, here are some tips to help you along the way:

1) Read, read, and read some more - The more you read the more your brain will grab on to common transition words and scientific vocabulary. And when these words are implemented in your own writing, you will notice a big difference in its overall flow.

2) Understand what you read - Take the time to look up any words that you don't know. Given our access to places like Google makes this exceedingly easy to do, and will not only help you understand what you are reading, but will give you the opportunity to implement these words in your own manuscript writing.

3) Make a list - Some people have found it helpful to make a list of words and categorize them based on when/where they are used. This allows you to have a variety of words to be used in certain situations at your fingertips whenever you need.

A thesaurus can also be helpful when trying to increase your vocabulary, however blindly placing a synonym into your manuscript without knowing its typical or proper usage can be problematic. Moreover, many scientific words are not found in the thesaurus within your typical word processor, so this can be more difficult.

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