1Academic Word ListAn Introduction to the to recognise other family members such as maximised when you encounter them in yourAcademic Word List reading. These words are closely related and the meaning is likely to be the same or similar. WhenAveril Coxhead, Massey University, New Zealand you are looking for words in this dictionary, think about other word family members too. What is the Academic Word List? Finally, there are some academic words that do not have a word family. These words occurThe Academic Word List (AWL) is a list of 570 on their own and do not have any inflections.word families that are commonly found in Examples include nonetheless, so-called andacademic texts. This list was selected by behalf.examining a large corpus (or collection) ofwritten academic texts and selecting thewords that occurred: Why is the AWL important? 1 In texts from all four academic faculty The AWL is intended as a reference for students sections: Arts, Commerce, Law and Science. who are studying or preparing to study at a tertiary level in English. As a university lecturer, 2 Over 100 times in the corpus overall. I was aware of the difficulties that students had 3 At least 10 times in each academic in mastering the vocabulary necessary for written faculty section. assignments. The AWL does not include ‘content’ 4 Outside the 2000 most frequent words vocabulary for particular subjects which students on Michael West’s General Service List obviously need to learn as well. The AWL focuses (GSL). The GSL includes everyday words instead on the non-subject-specific vocabulary such as I, house and do. that students of any discipline will need to master in order to produce coherently-structured writtenThese principles ensured that only words that assignments.occurred reasonably frequently in a variety ofstudy areas were selected. The AWL covers up to 10% of the vocabulary covered in written academic texts. This meansThe AWL targets vocabulary that occurs most that, on average, one word in 10 in an academicoften in written academic texts. These words textbook is in the AWL. Look at the followingalso occur in newspapers but not as often as they extract from an academic text:do in textbooks. The AWL words appear evenless in fiction. If your focus is learning academic EUROPEAN ENVIRONMENTAL POLICYvocabulary, you need to make sure you readacademic textbooks so that you encounter these Environmental issues are truly global.words in context. Many of the problems, like the releasing of CFCs into the atmosphere, have global effects and require global action. Some How is the AWL organized? problems link to the exploitation of globalThe AWL is organized into Word Families. commons – the resources shared by theWord families are made up of the ‘parent word’ international community suchand ‘family members’. Take for example the word as ocean beds and the atmosphere.maximise. Its family members include inflections Sometimes small local problems, suchof the verb such as maximised, as poisonous gases leaking from landfillsmaximises and maximising as well as the noun and water pollution, are multiplied somaximum. The word family also includes the many times in any local contexts thatBritish spelling of the noun maximisation, as well they become major world hazards. Theas maximization, the US spelling. environment is a global concern requiring global policies.If you learn the verb maximise, you will be able
Academic Word List 2The highlighted words are all on the AWL. phrases that are highlighted. These show you theThis sample illustrates clearly that the AWL key grammatical patterns and collocations forcan help with decisions about which words are that word. Collocations are words that commonlyimportant for you to learn if you are studying in occur together or near each other in a text, foran English-speaking country. example ‘effect on’. Collocations and phrases are important because they help with fluency in writing and indicate that you are working at aHow can the AWL help me with higher level with academic vocabulary than justmy academic studies? using a word from your own language and itsKnowledge of academic vocabulary is vital for translation. The collocations in the following textstudents studying at an English-speaking have been highlighted in blue.university, particularly for reading and writing. DECLINING BIODIVERSITYIf you compare estimates of how many words anative English speaker might know by the age of Whatever the effects on this planet’s18 (approximately 18,000 to 20,000 words) and climate, rain-forest clearance has anotherhow many a learner who has had two or three undeniable impact. The disappearance ofhours of schooling in English over rain forests is a major factor eroding theseveral years (roughly 2000 to 3000 words earth’s biodiversity, or, more simplydepending on the language background of the causing many thousands of species of plant and animal life to disappear forever. Whilestudent), this gap is enormous. In order to read rain forests account for just seven percent ofand write successfully you need to be able to the earth’s surface, they are home to almostrecognize as many words as possible in your half of this planet’s living species. Estimatestextbooks and use as many as possible in your of the total number of species of animalsessays. The bigger your vocabulary, the more you and plants range from 1.5 million to as highwill be able to cope with the high reading and as 30 million. Researchers, in fact, havewriting demands of your studies. identified more than 1,000 species of antsAcademic writing tends to be quite formal in alone (Wilson, 1991).style. The vocabulary items that you use in yourwriting can affect the level of formality. Writers What strategies can I use to helpneed to know whether a word can be used in a learn the AWL words?particular situation. Take for example consequent.This is marked as formal. You would probably Remember that building your vocabulary takesnot choose to use this word when speaking with time. You are not likely to learn everything youfriends but you should use it in written English to need to know about a word the very first time youtake your language to a higher level of formality. see it. And don’t expect to remember everythingThe AWL will help you to focus on issues of about a word after looking it up in a dictionaryformality. Look out for the formal label in this once. Try some of these ideas to help you withdictionary. vocabulary building:Remember that the AWL covers approximately • Make the most of the information given in10% of all vocabulary in a piece of academic this dictionary to build up your knowledge of awriting. You should aim to have roughly the word. Look at the bold phrases highlighted insame percentage in your own academic writing the entry. These show important grammaticaltoo. If you go to the AWL highlighter website patterns and collocations. Learn these ratherby Sandra Haywood (http:/ /www.nottingham. than the word in isolation.ac.uk/~alzsh3/acvocab/awlhighlighter.html) you • Even if you think you already ‘know’ a word,can copy and paste your text into it and it will look it up in the dictionary to see if there is anyhighlight the AWL words for you. This will enable additional information that you don’t know.you to see how many AWL words you are usingoverall and whether you repeat the same words • Research has shown that repetition helpsmany times in your writing. people to remember things. Make sure you build repetition into your learning. You couldWhen looking up words from the AWL in this do this through using word cards to testdictionary you should also focus on the bold yourself or by keeping a vocabulary notebook.
Academic Word List 4behalf n comment 1 n conflict 2 v contribute vbeneficial adj comment 2 v conform v contribution nbeneficiary n commentary n conformation n contributor nbenefit 1 n commentator n conformist adj controversial adjbenefit 2 v commission 1 n conformity n controversy nbias 1 n commission 2 v consensus n convene vbias 2 v commit v consent 1 n convention nbiased adj commitment n consent 2 v conventional adjbond 1 n committed adj consequence n converse 3 adjbond 2 v commodity n consequent adj conversely advbrevity n communicable adj consequently adv conversion nbrief 1 adj communicate v considerable adj convert 1 vbrief 2 n communication n considerably adv convertible 1 adjbrief 3 v communicative adj consist v convince vbriefing n community n consistency n convinced adjbriefly adv compatibility n consistent adj convincing adjbulk 1 n compatible 1 adj constancy n cooperate vbulky adj compensate v constant 1 adj cooperation n compensation n constant 2 n cooperative 1 adjcapability n compensatory adj constantly adv coordinate 1 vcapable adj compilation n constituency n coordinate 2 ncapacity n compile v constituent 1 n coordinate 3 adjcategory n complement 1 n constituent 2 adj coordination ncease 1 v complement 2 v constitute v coordinator nchallenge 1 n complementary adj constitution n core 1 nchallenge 2 v complex 1 adj constitutional 1 adj core 2 adjchallenging adj complex 2 n constrain v core 3 vchannel 1 n complexity n constrained adj corporate adjchannel 2 v component 1 n constraint n corporation nchapter n component 2 adj construct 1 v correspond vchart 1 n compound 1 n construct 2 n correspondence nchart 2 v compound 2 v construction n corresponding adjchemical 1 n compound 3 adj constructive adj couple 1 nchemical 2 adj comprehensive adj consult v couple 2 vcircumstance n comprise v consultancy n create vcitation n computation n consultant n creation ncite v compute v consultation n creative 1 adjcivil adj computer n consultative adj creativity nclarification n computing n consume v creator nclarify v conceivable adj consumer n credit 1 nclarity n conceive v consumption n credit 2 vclassic 1 adj concentrate 1 v contact 1 n creditor nclassic 2 n concentration n contact 2 v criterion nclassical adj concept n contact 3 adj crucial adjclause n conception n contemporary 1 adj cultural adjcode 1 n conceptual adj contemporary 2 n culturally advcode 2 v conclude v context n culture 1 ncoded adj concluding adj contextual adj currency ncoding n conclusion n contextualize v cycle 1 ncoherence n conclusive adj contract 1 n cycle 2 vcoherent adj concurrent adj contract 2 v cyclic adjcoincide v conduct 1 v contractor ncoincidence n conduct 2 n contradict v data ncoincident adj confer v contradiction n debatable adjcoincidental adj conference n contradictory adj debate 1 ncollapse 1 v confine v contrary 1 n debate 2 vcollapse 2 n confined adj contrary 2 adj decade ncolleague n confirm v contrast 1 n decline 1 ncommence v confirmation n contrast 2 v decline 2 vcommencement n conflict 1 n contrasting adj deduce v
5 Academic Word Listdeduction n distribution n enormity n export 1 ndefine v distributive adj enormous adj export 2 vdefinite adj diverse adj enormously adv exporter ndefinitely adv diversify v ensure v expose vdefinition n diversity n entity n exposed adjdefinitive adj document 1 n environment n exposure ndemonstrable adj document 2 v environmental adj external adjdemonstrate v documentation n environmentalist n externalize vdemonstration n domain n equate v extract 1 vdemonstrative adj domestic 1 adj equation n extract 2 ndemonstrator n domesticate v equip v extraction ndenial n domesticated adj equipment ndenote v dominance n equivalent 1 adj facilitate vdeny v dominant 1 adj equivalent 2 n facilitator ndepress v dominate v erode v facility ndepression n draft 1 n erosion n factor 1 nderivation n draft 2 v erroneous adj factor 2 vderivative 1 n draft 3 adj error n feature 1 nderivative 2 adj drama n establish v feature 2 vderive v dramatic adj established adj federal adjdesign 1 n dramatist n establishment n federation ndesign 2 v dramatize v estate n fee ndesigner 1 n duration n estimate 1 n file 1 ndespite prep dynamic 1 adj estimate 2 v file 2 vdetect v dynamic 2 n estimation n filing ndetection n ethic n final 1 adjdetective n economic adj ethical adj final 2 ndetector n economical adj ethnic 1 adj finality ndeviate 1 v economically adv ethnic 2 n finalize vdeviation n economics n evaluate v finally advdevice n economist n evaluation n finance 1 ndevote v economy 1 n eventual adj finance 2 vdevoted adj edit v eventuality n financial adjdevotion n edition n eventually adv financier ndifferentiate v editor n evidence 1 n finite adjdimension n editorial 1 adj evident adj flexibility ndiminish v editorial 2 n evidential adj flexible adjdiminution n element n evidently adv fluctuate vdiscrete adj eliminate v evolution n fluctuation ndiscretion n elimination n evolutionary adj focus 1 vdiscretionary adj emerge v evolve v focus 2 ndiscriminate v emergence n exceed v focussed adjdiscrimination n emergent adj exclude v format 1 ndisestablish v emerging adj excluding prep format 2 vdisplace v emphasis n exclusion n formula ndisplacement n emphasize v exclusive 1 adj formulate vdisplay 1 n emphatic adj exclusively adv forthcoming adjdisplay 2 v empirical adj exhibit 1 v found 2 vdisposable adj empiricism n exhibit 2 n foundation ndisposal n enable v exhibition n founder 1 ndispose v enabling adj expand v founding ndisproportion n encounter 1 v expansion n framework ndisproportionate adj encounter 2 n expansionism n function 1 ndissimilar adj energetic adj expansive adj function 2 vdistinct adj energy n expert 1 n functional adjdistinction n enforce v expert 2 adj fund 1 ndistinctive adj enforced adj expertise n fund 2 vdistinctly adv enforcement n explicit adj fundamental adjdistort v enhance v exploit 1 v fundamentally advdistribute v enhanced adj exploitation n funding n
Academic Word List 6furthermore adv inadequacy n injury n investigate v inadequate adj innovate v investigation ngender n inappropriate adj innovation n investigative adjgenerate v incapable adj innovative adj investigator ngeneration n incapacitate v innovator n investment nglobalization n incentive n input 1 n investor nglobe n incidence n input 2 v invisible adjgoal n incident n insecure adj invoke vgrade 1 n incidentally adv insert 1 v involve vgrade 2 v inclination n insertion n involvement ngraded adj incline 1 v insight n irrational adjgrant 1 v incline 2 n insightful adj irrelevance ngrant 2 n incoherent adj insignificant adj irrelevant adjguarantee 1 v income n inspect v irreversible adjguarantee 2 n incompatible adj inspection n isolate vguideline n inconceivable adj inspector n isolated adj inconclusive adj instability n isolation nhence adv inconsistency n instance 1 n isolationism nhierarchical adj inconsistent adj instance 2 v issue 1 nhierarchy n incorporate v institute 1 n issue 2 vhighlight 1 v incorporated adj institute 2 v item nhypothesis n indefinite adj institution nhypothesize v indefinitely adv institutional adj job nhypothetical adj index 1 n institutionalized adj journal n index 2 v instruct v justifiable adjidentical adj indicate v instruction n justification nidentifiable adj indication n instructive adj justified adjidentification n indicative 1 n instructor n justify videntify v indicative 2 adj insufficient adjidentity n indicator n integral adj label 1 nideological adj indiscretion n integrate v label 2 videology n indistinct adj integrated adj labor nignorance n individual 1 adj integration n labored adjignorant adj individual 2 n integrity n labour 1 nignore v individualism n intelligence n labour 2 villegal 1 adj individualist n intelligent adj laboured adjillogical adj individuality n intense adj layer 1 nillustrate v individually adv intensify v layer 2 villustration n induce v intensity n lecture 1 nillustrative adj induction n intensive adj lecture 2 vimage n inevitability n interact v lecturer nimagery n inevitable adj interaction n legal adjimmature adj inevitably adv interactive adj legality nimmigrant n infer v intermediate 1 adj legally advimmigrate v inference n internal adj legislate vimmigration n infinite adj internalize v legislation nimpact 1 n infinitely adv interpret v legislative adjimpact 2 v inflexible adj interpretation n legislator nimplement 1 v infrastructure n interpretative adj legislature nimplement 2 n inherent adj interpretive adj levy 1 vimplicate v inhibit v interval n levy 2 nimplication n inhibition n intervene v liberal 1 adjimplicit adj initial 1 adj intervening adj liberal 2 nimply v initially adv intervention n liberalism nimpose v initiate 1 v intrinsic adj liberalize vimposition n initiation n invalidate v liberally advimprecise adj initiative n invalidity n liberate vinaccessible adj initiator n invariable adj liberated adjinaccuracy n injure v invariably adv licence ninaccurate adj injured adj invest v license v
7 Academic Word Listlicensed adj motivation n overestimate 2 n precise adjlikewise adv motive 1 n overlap 1 v precisely advlink 1 v motive 2 adj overlap 2 n precision 1 nlink 2 n mutual adj overseas 1 adv precision 2 adjlinkage n mutually adv overseas 2 adj predict vlocate v predictable adjlocation n negate v panel n prediction nlogic n negative 1 adj paradigm n predominance nlogical adj negative 2 n paragraph n predominant adjlogician n network 1 n parallel 1 n predominantly adv network 2 v parallel 2 adj predominate vmaintain v networking n parallel 3 v preliminary 1 adjmaintenance n neutral 1 adj parameter n preliminary 2 nmajor 1 adj neutrality n participant n presumably advmajority n neutralize v participate v presume vmanipulate v nevertheless adv participation n presumption nmanipulative adj nonconformist n participatory adj previous adjmanual 1 adj nonetheless adv partner 1 n previously advmanual 2 n norm n partnership n primacy nmargin n normal 1 adj passive 1 adj primarily advmarginal adj normal 2 n passive 2 n primary 1 adjmarginally adv normality n perceive v prime 1 adjmaturation n normalize v percent 1 adj principal 1 adjmature 1 adj normally adv percent 2 n principally advmature 2 v notion n percentage n principle nmaturity n notwithstanding prep perception n principled adjmaximize v nuclear adj period 1 n prior 1 adjmaximum 1 adj periodic adj prioritize vmaximum 2 n objective 1 n periodical n priority 1 nmechanism n objective 2 adj persist v procedural adjmedia n objectively adv persistence n procedure nmediate v obtain v persistent adj proceed vmedical 1 adj obtainable adj perspective n proceeding nmedium 1 adj obvious adj phase 1 n proceeds nmedium 2 n obviously adv phase 2 v process 1 nmental adj occupancy n phenomenal adj process 2 vmentality n occupant n phenomenon n processed adjmethod n occupation n philosopher n professional 1 adjmethodical adj occupational adj philosophical adj professional 2 nmethodology n occupier n philosophize v professionalism nmigrant n occupy v philosophy n professionally advmigrate v occur v physical 1 adj prohibit vmigration n occurrence n physically adv prohibition nmigratory adj odd adj plus 1 prep prohibitive adjmilitary 1 adj odds n plus 2 n project 1 nmilitary 2 n offset 1 v plus 3 adj project 2 vminimal adj ongoing adj policy n projection nminimize v option n portion 1 n promote vminimum 1 adj optional adj pose 1 v promoter nminimum 2 n orient 1 v pose 2 n promotion nministerial adj orientate v positive 1 adj proportion 1 nministry n orientated adj positively adv proportional adjminor 1 adj orientation n potential 1 adj proportionate adjminority n oriented adj potential 2 n prospect 1 nmisinterpret v outcome n potentially adv prospective adjmode n output 1 n practitioner n protocol nmodification n output 2 v precede v psychological adjmodify v overall 1 adj precedence n psychologist nmonitor 1 v overall 2 adv precedent n psychology nmotivated adj overestimate 1 v preceding adj publication n
Academic Word List 8publish v relevant adj revolutionize v stable 1 adjpublisher n reliable adj rigid adj statistic npublishing n reliance n role n statistician npurchase 1 v reliant adj route 1 n status npurchase 2 n relocate v route 2 v straightforward adjpursue v reluctance n strategic adjpursuit n reluctant adj scenario n strategist n rely v schedule 1 n strategy nqualitative adj removable adj schedule 2 v stress 1 nquotation n removal n schematic adj stress 2 vquote 1 v remove 1 v scheme 1 n stressed adjquote 2 n remove 2 n scheme 2 v stressful adj require v scope 1 n structural adjradical 1 adj requirement n section 1 n structure 1 nradical 2 n reschedule v section 2 v structure 2 vrandom adj research 1 n sector n structured adjrange 1 n research 2 v secure 1 adj style 1 nrange 2 v reside v secure 2 v style 2 vratio n residence n securely adv styling nrational adj resident 1 n security n stylish adjrationalism n resident 2 adj seek v stylized adjrationalize v residential adj select 1 v submission nreact v resolution n select 2 adj submit vreaction n resolve 1 v selection n subordinate 1 adjreactionary 1 adj resolve 2 n selective adj subordinate 2 nreactionary 2 n resource 1 n selector n subordinate 3 vreactivate v resource 2 v sequence n subsequent adjreactive adj resourceful adj sequencing n subsequently advreactor n respond v sequential adj subsidiary 2 adjreadjust v respondent n series n subsidize vreassess v response n sex 1 n subsidy nreconstruct v responsive adj sexism n substitute 1 nreconstruction n restoration n sexual adj substitute 2 vrecover v restore v sexuality n substitution nrecovery n restored adj shift 1 v succession nrecreate v restrain v shift 2 n successive adjredistribute v restraint n significant adj successor nredistribution n restrict v significantly adv sufficiency nrefine v restricted adj signify v sufficient adjrefined adj restriction n similar adj sum 1 nrefinement n restrictive adj similarity n sum 2 vregime n restructure v similarly adv summarize vregion n retain v simulate v summary 1 nregional adj retainer n simulated adj summary 2 adjregister 1 n retention n simulation n summation nregister 2 v retentive adj site 1 n supplement 1 nregistration n reveal v sole 1 adj supplement 2 vregulate v revealing adj solely adv supplementary adjregulation 1 n revelation n somewhat adv survey 1 nregulator n revenue n source 1 n survey 2 vregulatory adj reversal n source 2 v survival nreinforce v reverse 1 v specific 1 adj survive vreinforcement n reverse 2 n specific 2 n survivor nreinvest v reverse 3 adj specifically adv suspend vreject 1 v reversible adj specification n suspension nrejection n revise v specify v sustain vrelax v revision n sphere n sustainable adjrelaxation n revolution n spherical adj sustained adjrelease 1 v revolutionary 1 adj stability n sustenance nrelease 2 n revolutionary 2 n stabilize v symbol n
9 Academic Word Listsymbolic adj ultimate 1 adj valid adjsymbolism n ultimately adv validate vsymbolize v unaccompanied adj variable 1 adj unaffected adj variable 2 ntape 1 n unaided adj variance ntape 2 v unalterable adj variant ntarget 1 n unambiguous adj variation ntarget 2 v unanticipated adj varied adjtask 1 n unapproachable adj vary vtask 2 v unattached adj vehicle nteam 1 n unattainable adj version nteam 2 v unavailable adj via preptechnical adj unaware adj violate vtechnically adv unbiased adj violation ntechnique n uncharted adj virtual adjtechnological adj unconstitutional adj virtually advtechnology n unconventional adj visibility ntemporary adj undeniable adj visible adjtense 1 adj underestimate 1 v visibly advtension n underestimate 2 n vision nterminal 1 adj undergo v visual 1 adjterminal 2 n underlie v visualize vterminate v underlying adj visually advtermination n undertake v volume ntext 1 n undertaking n voluntarily advtextual adj underwent v voluntary 1 adjthematic adj undiminished adj volunteer 1 ntheme n uneconomical adj volunteer 2 vtheoretical adj unethical adjtheoretically adv unfounded adj welfare ntheorist n unification n whereas conjtheory n unified adj whereby advthereby adv uniform 2 adj widespread adjthesis n uniformity ntopic n unify vtopical adj unique adjtrace 1 v unjustified adjtrace 2 n unlicensed adjtracing n unobtainable adjtradition n unparalleled adjtraditional adj unprecedented adjtraditionalist n unpredictable adjtransfer 1 v unprincipled adjtransfer 2 n unpublished adjtransference n unregulated adjtransform v unreliable adjtransformation n unresolved adjtransit n unresponsive adjtransition n unrestrained adjtransitional adj unrestricted adjtransitory adj unscheduled adjtransmission n unspecified adjtransmit v unstable adjtransport 1 n unstressed adjtransport 2 v unstructured adjtransportation n unsustainable adjtransporter n utility ntrend n utilize vtrigger 1 ntrigger 2 v