Introduction to Vocabulary-Building Reading Strategies

What you’ll learn to do: use context clues and other reading strategies to learn and retain new words

The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words. – Philip K. Dick

One of the key distinctions between college-level reading and reading you have done for school before is the much wider breadth and broader scope of college reading. Being well-read helps you become a better critical thinker in the long run. In this section, you’ll learn some specific strategies for helping you build your vocabulary.Decorative image.

You’ve probably taken hundreds of vocabulary quizzes and tests before coming to college. Well, put your mind at ease: we aren’t going to ask you to memorize lists of SAT words. This section focuses on how you can approach reading tasks methodically to expand your vocabulary along the way. It goes without saying that the more you read, the more words you will learn. However, in addition to just upping your reading load, context clues and word parts can help you build your vocabulary.

Finally, you will learn the best methods for dealing with specialized or technical vocabulary. In college, you’ll probably take classes about topics and concepts you don’t know anything about yet. Reading rhetorically (and strategically) can help ensure that you get the most out of those courses.