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Word Power Made Easy

181 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0671741907
ISBN-10: 067174190X
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About the Author

Norman Lewis was an author, grammarian, lexicographer, and etymologist. Lewis was a leading authority on English-language skills, whose bestselling 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary published by Pocket Books in 1971 promised to teach readers to improve their skills in fifteen minutes a day.

Lewis started his teaching career at New York University and the City College of New York. From 1964 to 1995, he taught English—including grammar, etymology, and vocabulary—at Rio Hondo College, a two-year community college in Whittier, California. For more than a decade, he was also the chairman of Rio Hondo’s communications department.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (February 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067174190X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671741907
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

71 of 73 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 24, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I spent a period of time reading and learning this book. It was a wonderful experience when each time I finished reading a chapter and got the new ideas for the new words. That kind of satisfication is just overdescription especially for me when English is not my native language for naturally speaking.I would strongly recommand this book for whoever wants to make progress in his word-building and knowledge-growing. The author has his way to induce you into the world of words and surprisingly you would find many things just happen like what he said as you learned the book step by step. I still have to enhance my ability in English, and this book is just the beginning. And we Chinese often say the good beginning is already half of the success because you've got the right teacher!
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Antonio D. Paolucci on February 8, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm skeptical of books like this. My view on expanding vocabulary is to simply read a lot and if you see a word you don't understand, then look it up. Magically, you now know what that word means. But this book surprised me, though I didn't initially realize it until much, much later, well after finishing the book and all the numerous exercises.

It's mainly because of the content of the book. Though the book centers around about a hundred words (all sectioned off by a specific category), it's through these words and their etymology that we are able to further expand our vocabulary. It teaches first how to recognize the prefix and the suffixes within these words, so that should we come across these same prefixes or suffixes later, we'll know the roots and how to identify the meaning of these words without pulling out a dictionary. This is where it surprised me. It took maybe months, but eventually I realized the power of this book when I saw a word I had never seen before while reading and was able to identify it without even stopping.

Another great part about this book is that it's never overwhelming. Each section uses ten words, and from there multiplies into many more using etymology until starting once again with ten more new words, but only after thoroughly testing you and what you've already learned. When I first began reading this book, I read a chapter a week and studied the words, the prefixes, and the suffixes related to each word and did the tests until I was satisfied that I knew them and then moved on to the next section. In doing this, I was able to expand my vocab by at least the one-hundred base words outlined in this book (later, I realized, my vocabulary grew by thousands of words).
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68 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth C. Hicks on March 21, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The methods Norman Lewis uses to teach vocabulary are fun, refreshing, and LASTING! As a senior in high school, I found this book every bit as interesting as one might expect from a novel. To this day, I remember the chapter on the various medical practitioners. But even more amazing, when I see them in print, I can, to this day, remember whether I learned them from WORD POWER MADE EASY. The most helpful hints for me were the foreign language roots. Learning those helped me uncover the meaning of other words based on those roots. Also Lewis' little vignettes for each word are memorable. My favorite, even now, is the one describing a 'phrenologist'. Try it! You'll love it!
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46 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Linda Jung on May 8, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was introduced to this book through a college course. Only a month or two after using this tool, people I worked with commented on the growth of my vocabulary. It was as if by magic. It didn't hurt at all. If you struggle with pronunciation, spelling, and usage, this book could be just the magic you need.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By DellaCorte on March 15, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though there are many books for enhancing vocabulary, this book by Norman Lewis is THE BEST. I used this book in high school over 20 years ago and recently purchased it to help tutor my 8th grade daughter. In flipping through the pages, I discovered that I actually remember nearly all of these words due to the ingenious, but simple format used by Norman Lewis. This elegant format is grouping words that have similar meanings together. For example, there are chapters on medical professionals, personality types, types of prevarication, insults, and words of praise. By learning words in semantically related groups, they store together in your memory. Studying words with similar meanings together also fosters an appreciation of the nuances of difference. It's a fantastic way to learn vocabulary that you'll retain. You can skip the earlier book, 30 Days to a More Powerful Vocabulary by Wilfred Funk & Norman Lewis. The earlier book has a similar format, but fewer words, shorter definitions, and a less engaging layout.

In contrast to the semantic cluster format, some vocabulary books arrange words alphabetically. Unless you are studying for a test, such "selective dictionaries" are unlikely to foster long term word retention. If you are studying for a test, the "1000 Most Important Words" by Norman Schur is much better than "Words Smart by the Princeton Review." The former includes more words and better definitions. The "1000 Most Important Words" also has sentence examples defining the word and an easily read visual layout. But if you have time, study "Word Power Made Easy" first. It'll add to your long term understanding and enjoyment of words!
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