Academic Word List
570 most important academic words you must know


Academic Word List (AWL) contains all words that you need to know for accurate understanding of academic texts, not just scholarly journals but text books for college level studies.

So, what is Academic Vocabulary anyway? Academic Vocabulary refers to words which are used in all academic faculties like Arts, Commerce, Law and Science. These are not subject specific but special lexis used to communicate subject matter in an refined language.


Difference between Technical Words and Academic Words?

Technical words are used specifically for particular subjects and are relevant to the knowledge about that particular subject; they are used frequently in that particular subject. There are believed to be 1,000 words in this category and they cover about 5% or less in academic language.


Academic texts are universal in nature. As most academic texts like, science theories, history, commerce maths facts were drafted in text books in countries where English is the native language therefore non-native speakers of English academic English poses many challenges.

Academic words Technical words

"The hydrogen usage as fuel in a fuel cell can be obtained from various sources viz. gasification of biomass, electrolysis of water, and catalytic cracking of crude........For today's lecture, we will take up electrolysis of water for generating hydrogen."

AWL contains 570 high frequency words in academic texts- journals, dissertations, lectures, report writing, and other texts. This list excludes 2000 words from High Frequency word Lists by Michael West.


The Academic words list is divided into 10 sublists based on how frequently they occurr in the Academic Corpus (corpus is a body of texts). The word list has been divided into 10 sublists based on how frequently they occur in the Academic Corpus.The words in Sub-list 1 occur more frequently than the words Sub list 2 and so on.

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Oxford English Dictionary publishes new word updates and revised word meanings, on March, June,September and December every year. For instance, in March 2012, it added:
bit bucket n. An An imaginary trash location, example, "it fell into the bit bucket" means the data was lost.

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