If you've got money to spare or if they're on sale, buy them and use them; they can't hurt.
Books that group words according to what they have in commonmore in meaning than in spellingare especially useful.
Play dictionary games with your family in which someone uses the dictionary to find a neat word and writes down the real definition and everyone else writes down a fake (and funny) definition.
See how many people you can fool with your fake definitions. A thesaurus is like a dictionary except that it groups words within constellations of meaning.
Two trucks loaded with thousands of copies of Roget's Thesaurus collided as they left a New York publishing house last Thursday, according to the Associated Press. It is often useful in discovering just the right word you need to express what you want to say.
Research Paper Vocabulary Terms
Witnesses were aghast, amazed, astonished, astounded, bemused, benumbed, bewildered, confounded, confused, dazed, dazzled, disconcerted, disoriented, dumbstruck, electrified, flabbergasted, horrified, immobilized, incredulous, nonplussed, overwhelmed, paralyzed, perplexed, scared, shocked, startled, stunned, stupified, surprised, taken aback, traumatized, upset. Make sure you correctly understand the definition of a word (by using a dictionary) before using it in some important paper or report.
Pursue words actively and become alert to words that you simply overlooked in the past.
Write down the words in one column; then, later, when you have a dictionary at your disposal, write down a common definition of the word; in a third column, write a brief sentence using the word, underlined. In the pauses of your busy daywhen you're sitting on the bus, in the dentist's office, during commercialstake out the paper and review your vocabulary words until you feel comfortable that you would recognize (and be able to use) these words the next time you see them.
Sometimes it's a matter of not being able to recall the right word; sometimes we never knew it.
It is also frustrating to read a newspaper or homework assignment and run across words whose meanings elude us. When your children get in trouble fighting with the neighbors' children, and your neighbors call your children swell, the battle is over and they didn't stand a chance.