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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
To reference this reader:
Academic Marker (2022) Academic Word Lists. Available at: https://academicmarker.com/academic-guidance/vocabulary/academic-word-lists/ (Accessed: Date Month Year).
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.
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