Vocabulary Study - Freely Reading

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Word Research and Analysis

Trying to memorize lists of words is one of the most difficult and slowest ways to learn. That’s why many students forget the list right after they’ve been tested. However, if you can personalize new words, you have a greater chance of making them yours. When learning new words, try to think of a personal clue that helps you relate your life experience to the word.

Abhor means ‘to hate’. Think of a something you really dislike. Some people hate crowded elevators. So, when they think of the word ‘abhor’ they could link the meaning of the word to the idea of being stuck in a crowded elevator.

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When learning words in isolation, using a thesaurus is often a better way to identify the meaning of an unknown word. Sometimes the dictionary definition is lengthy and complicated. A thesaurus gives a concise list of words and, chances are, you already know at least one of the words for any given term. Check out the following words that may be unfamiliar to you. How many of the synonyms do you already know?

             chauvinistic: intolerant, individualistic, stuffy, biased, militant

             stoic: aloof, apathetic, cool, calm, emotionless, indifferent

            poignant: cutting, emotional, heartbreaking, moving, painful, powerful

            exemplify: clarify, clear up, demonstrate, epitomize, manifest, represent

To add some punch to your vocabulary, steer away from using simple, overused words in your speaking and writing. Use a thesaurus to spice up your writing. This will enable you to use more sophisticated words which will improve your reading and writing skills. The chart below has words you may not know. Once you complete the activity, you will soon realize you do know some of the synonyms. The challenge is to actually use the new words you learn in your speaking and writing. That is the only way to make them your own.

Use a thesaurus or go to thesaurus.com to research the following words and complete the chart. The first one is done for you. Click on the chart to download.

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