Which vocabulary is in the academic word list?

This is the first of three chapters about Academic Word Lists. To complete this reader, read each chapters carefully and then unlock and complete our materials to check your understanding.   

– Introduce the concept of an academic word list

– Provide links to three free academic word lists

– Provide the results of Magali Paquot’s AWL for reference

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Chapter 1

Many students who have recently switched from general English to academic English often find it challenging to know which language is and isn’t appropriate in academic contexts. While Academic Marker’s short reader on academic language may certainly be helpful, students will also likely require access to academic word lists that provide numerous examples of appropriate language. In this short reader on exactly that topic, we first explore the most common academic word lists (Chapter 1) before then providing a list of the most common academic phrases (Chapter 2) and collocations (Chapter 3).

What is an academic word list?

There are a variety of academic word lists available to students, most of which are the result of academic research into English for Academic Purposes (EAP). The general method for arranging these lists is to determine word or phrase frequency within a large body of text called a corpus – which may be many millions of words.  

Which academic word lists are recommended?

One of the most famous lists, the Academic Word List (AWL), was developed by Professor Averil Coxhead (2005) at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. In her study, Coxhead interrogated 3.5 million words, determining 570 word families that frequently appear in academic texts but that are not also contained within the General Service List of frequent general English terms. The list may be downloaded for free here: https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/lals/resources/academicwordlist

For a more recent and much larger data set, Mark Davies and Dee Gardner created the Academic Vocabulary List (AVL) in 2015. This list is based on 120 million academic words stored in the Corpus of Contemporary American English and can be downloaded for free here: https://www.academicvocabulary.info/

Finally, the Academic Keyword List (AKWL) was published in 2010 by Magali Paquot at the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. This list of 930 academic words can be accessed here: https://perso.uclouvain.be/magali.paquot/resources/ and viewed below:

 

Adjectives (180)

absolute, abstract, acceptable, accessible, active, actual, acute, additional, adequate, alternative, apparent, applicable, appropriate, arbitrary, available, average, basic, central, certain, clear, common, competitive, complete, complex, comprehensive, considerable, consistent, conventional, correct, critical, crucial, dependent, detailed, different, difficult, distinct, dominant, early, effective, equal, equivalent, essential, evident, excessive, experimental, explicit, extensive, extreme, far, favourable, final, fixed, following, formal, frequent, fundamental, future, general, great, high, human, ideal, identical, immediate, important, inadequate, incomplete, independent, indirect, individual, inferior, influential, inherent, initial, interesting, internal, large, late, leading, likely, limited, local, logical, main, major, male, maximum, mental, minimal, minor, misleading, modern, mutual, natural, necessary, negative, new, normal, obvious, original, other, overall, parallel, partial, particular, passive, past, permanent, physical, positive, possible, potential, practical, present, previous, primary, prime, principal, productive, profound, progressive, prominent, psychological, radical, random, rapid, rational, real, realistic, recent, related, relative, relevant, representative, responsible, restricted, scientific, secondary, selective, separate, severe, sexual, significant, similar, simple, single, so-called, social, special, specific, stable, standard, strict, subsequent, substantial, successful, successive, sufficient, suitable, surprising, symbolic, systematic, theoretical, total, traditional, true, typical, unique, unlike, unlikely, unsuccessful, useful, valid, valuable, varied, various, visual, vital, wide, widespread

 

Adverbs (87)

above, accordingly, accurately, adequately, also, approximately, at best, basically, clearly, closely, commonly, consequently, considerably, conversely, correctly, directly, effectively, e.g., either, equally, especially, essentially, explicitly, extremely, fairly, far, for example, for instance, frequently, fully, further, generally, greatly, hence, highly, however, increasingly, indeed, independently, indirectly, inevitably, initially, in general, in particular, largely, less, mainly, more, moreover, most, namely, necessarily, normally, notably, often, only, originally, over, partially, particularly, potentially, previously, primarily, purely, readily, recently, relatively, secondly, significantly, similarly, simply, socially, solely, somewhat, specifically, strongly, subsequently, successfully, thereby, therefore, thus, traditionally, typically, ultimately, virtually, wholly, widely

 

Nouns (355)

ability, absence, account, achievement, act, action, activity, addition, adoption, adult, advance, advantage, advice, age, aim, alternative, amount, analogy, analysis, application, approach, argument, aspect, assertion, assessment, assistance, association, assumption, attempt, attention, attitude, author, awareness, balance, basis, behaviour, being, belief, benefit, bias, birth, capacity, case, category, cause, centre, challenge, change, character, characteristic, choice, circumstance, class, classification, code, colleague, combination, commitment, committee, communication, community, comparison, complexity, compromise, concentration, concept, conception, concern, conclusion, condition, conduct, conflict, consensus, consequence, consideration, constraint, construction, content, contradiction, contrast, contribution, control, convention, correlation, country, creation, crisis, criterion, criticism, culture, damage, data, debate, decision, decline, defence, definition, degree, demand, description, destruction, determination, development, difference, difficulty, dilemma, dimension, disadvantage, discovery, discrimination, discussion, distinction, diversity, division, doctrine, effect, effectiveness, element, emphasis, environment, error, essence, establishment, evaluation, event, evidence, evolution, examination, example, exception, exclusion, existence, expansion, experience, experiment, explanation, exposure, extent, extreme, fact, factor, failure, feature, female, figure, finding, force, form, formation, function, future, gain, group, growth, guidance, guideline, hypothesis, idea, identity, impact, implication, importance, improvement, increase, indication, individual, influence, information, insight, instance, institution, integration, interaction, interest, interpretation, intervention, introduction, investigation, isolation, issue, kind, knowledge, lack, learning, level, likelihood, limit, limitation, link, list, literature, logic, loss, maintenance, majority, male, manipulation, mankind, material, means, measure, medium, member, method, minority, mode, model, motivation, movement, need, network, norm, notion, number, observation, observer, occurrence, operation, opportunity, option, organisation, outcome, output, parallel, parent, part, participant, past, pattern, percentage, perception, period, person, personality, perspective, phenomenon, point, policy, population, position, possibility, potential, practice, presence, pressure, problem, procedure, process, production, programme, progress, property, proportion, proposition, protection, provision, publication, purpose, quality, question, range, rate, reader, reality, reason, reasoning, recognition, reduction, reference, relation, relationship, relevance, report, representative, reproduction, requirement, research, resistance, resolution, resource, respect, restriction, result, review, rise, risk, role, rule, sample, scale, scheme, scope, search, section, selection, sense, separation, series, service, set, sex, shift, significance, similarity, situation, skill, society, solution, source, space, spread, standard, statistics, stimulus, strategy, stress, structure, subject, success, summary, support, survey, system, target, task, team, technique, tendency, tension, term, theme, theory, tolerance, topic, tradition, transition, trend, type, uncertainty, understanding, unit, use, validity, value, variation, variety, version, view, viewpoint, volume, whole, work, world

 

Verbs (233)

accept, account (for), achieve, acquire, act, adapt, adopt, advance, advocate, affect, aid, aim, allocate, allow, alter, analyse, appear, apply, argue, arise, assert, assess, assign, associate, assist, assume, attain, attempt, attend, attribute, avoid, base, be, become, benefit, can, cause, characterise, choose, cite, claim, clarify, classify, coincide, combine, compare, compete, comprise, concentrate, concern, conclude, conduct, confine, conform, connect, consider, consist, constitute, construct, contain, contrast, contribute, control, convert, correspond, create, damage, deal, decline, define, demonstrate, depend, derive, describe, design, destroy, determine, develop, differ, differentiate, diminish, direct, discuss, display, distinguish, divide, dominate, effect, eliminate, emerge, emphasize, employ, enable, encounter, encourage, enhance, ensure, establish, evaluate, evolve, examine, exceed, exclude, exemplify, exist, expand, experience, explain, expose, express, extend, facilitate, fail, favour, finance, focus, follow, form, formulate, function, gain, generate, govern, highlight, identify, illustrate, imply, impose, improve, include, incorporate, increase, indicate, induce, influence, initiate, integrate, interpret, introduce, investigate, involve, isolate, label, lack, lead, limit, link, locate, maintain, may, measure, neglect, note, obtain, occur, operate, outline, overcome, participate, perceive, perform, permit, pose, possess, precede, predict, present, preserve, prevent, produce, promote, propose, prove, provide, publish, pursue, quote, receive, record, reduce, refer, reflect, regard, regulate, reinforce, reject, relate, rely, remain, remove, render, replace, report, represent, reproduce, require, resolve, respond, restrict, result, retain, reveal, seek, select, separate, should, show, solve, specify, state, stimulate, strengthen, stress, study, submit, suffer, suggest, summarise, supply, support, sustain, tackle, tend, term, transform, treat, undermine, undertake, use, vary, view, write, yield

Others (75)

according to, although, an, as, as opposed to, as to, as well as, because, because of, between, both, by, contrary to, depending on, despite, due to, during, each, even though, fewer, first, former, from, for, given that, in, in addition to, in common with, in favour of, in relation to, in response to, in terms of, in that, in the light of, including, its, itself, latter, less, little, many, most, of, or, other than, per, prior to, provided, rather than, same, second, several, since, some, subject to, such, such as, than, that, the, their, themselves, these, third, this, those, to, unlike, upon, versus, whereas, whether, whether or not, which, within  

Having now looked at the most common academic words, in our second chapter on academic word lists we turn our attention next to the most helpful academic English phrases.

1 of 3 Chapters Completed

Materials

Once you’ve completed all three chapters in this short reader about Academic Word Lists, you might then wish to download our Chapter Worksheets to check your progress or print for your students. These professional PDF worksheets can be easily accessed for only a few Academic Marks.

Chapter 1 explores the topic: Which vocabulary is in the academic word list? Our Chapter 1 Worksheet (containing guidance, activities and answer keys) can be accessed here at the click of a button. 

Chapter 2 explores the topic: Which phrases are common in academic English? Our Chapter 2 Worksheet (containing guidance, activities and answer keys) can be accessed here at the click of a button. 

Chapter 3 explores the topic: Which words are in the academic collocations list? Our Chapter 3 Worksheet (containing guidance, activities and answer keys) can be accessed here at the click of a button. 

To save yourself 2 Marks, click on the button below to gain unlimited access to all of our Academic Word Lists Chapter Worksheets. This All-in-1 Pack includes every chapter, activity and answer key related this topic in one handy and professional PDF.

Media

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