Essay Writing Tips on Vocabulary

Essay requires relatively formal standard vocabulary. However, even the use of a good variety of synonyms of the appropriate stylistic reference does not guarantee that your piece of writing will be one absolutely flawless.

The following checklist enumerates the vocabulary errors, which often occur in writing and can be used for essay proofreading:

  • When writing an essay, pay special attention to homonyms, homographs and homophones; the most widely occurred errors include such words as here/hear, hole/whole, its/it’s, know/no, knew/new, desert as a noun/desert as a verb and dessert, to/too/two, they’re/their/there, through/threw.
  • Adjectives ending in -ed and -ing (e.g. boring vs. bored, frightening vs. frightened, interesting vs. interested) are another common vocabulary mistake: while writing, pay special attention to such adjectives and use -ed if they denote a state and -ing in case they denote a quality.
  • There are also words in English which are not homonyms, but are similar in spelling, sound and meaning, so, such errors are not even identified by computer spell checkers. Among them there are: accept as a verb and except as a preposition, advice as a noun and advise as a verb with the meaning to recommend, affect as a verb and effect as noun with the meaning result and as a verb with the meaning to bring about, loose as an adjective and lose as a verb, than as a conjunction and then as an adverb, sense as a noun and since as an adverb, quiet as an adjective, quit as a verb and quite as an adverb. In order to solve the problem of often confused words, keep a record of them and always pay special attention to the words from your list while writing an essay.

Although the vocabulary errors occur quite often and are not easy to spot, being aware of them will definitely help you improve your writing. Both our checklist and a good dictionary can be powerful tools in solving this problem.

We recommend to look through the most common vocabulary and content mistakes in order to know how to avoid them.
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