Top Tools For Mastering Academic English

23:40' 22-01-2018
Tertiary study in Australia is a big challenge, and a little bigger if English is your second language. However, the challenge becomes greater when you also have to learn the specialised vocabulary and style used by textbooks and teachers.


    Luckily, Belinda of Insider Guides lists a number of online tools to help you master “Academic English”.

    Academic Words List

    The Academic Words List (AWL) is a handy list of the words that appear most often in English-language academic texts. It has ten sublists of words, containing 570 words altogether.

    Sublist 1 gives the 60 most common academic words. The words are arranged in alphabetic order, from “analysis” to “variable”, and all of them are useful and necessary. Click on a word to get its definition and a number of example sentences.

    All of the AWL sublists are available at  

    Test yourself

    There are also games and exercises you can use to test your knowledge and use of the words.

    • RMIT’s academic word list tool at is excellent, with links to other online tutoring exercises.
    • You can test yourself on the AWL at
    • Other useful help, including Word for the Day, is available from and

    An app for The Oxford Learners Dictionary of Academic English is available on iPhone and Android.

    Improve your style

    Learning the vocabulary is one thing, but fitting all the words together is another. Academic English has certain styles and conventions and is much more formal that conversational English.

    For advice on writing introductions and conclusions, citing references, and more, see the University of Sydney's advice at 

    At you can find helpful comparisons of academic English sentences with everyday English.

    The University of Manchester's Academic Phrasebook, at, takes you through the different steps of writing research reports.

    For a wide selection of academic games and worksheets, see 

    Liu W

    Vocabulary Rating Review

Keywords: academic englishaustraliatertiary study

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