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2021-02-04 00:01:09

How to Learn academic vocabulary: guide for foreign students

How to Learn academic vocabulary: guide for foreign students

Academic English is needed to communicate with native speakers at a higher level, as well as for business and record keeping. With the help of such vocabulary, you can speak on scientific topics, conduct business negotiations.

Any educated person is familiar with the concept of academic writing. Any scientific work is written according to his rules: from a review to a doctoral dissertation. Academic language style is essential for students,university teachers, translators, journalists, writers, businessmen and those who apply for an international certificate ( TOEFL, BEC, CPE, KET and more).

Main features of academic writing

Academic English is especially difficult in writing. This is due to its features: the structure and organization of the text, vocabulary, the type of lexemes and constructions used for scientific works (essays, reports, abstracts).

The differences between academic english and spoken english are as follows: there is no colloquial vocabulary, there is no pronoun "I", there is objectivity and objectivity, the presence of passive forms, references to sources, paragraphs beginning with introductory sentences, structuredness, connecting words.


Does your work contain non-standard, interesting ideas? Excellent! But it will not be highly appreciated if you phrased them incorrectly. One should strictly adhere to a certain scheme that distinguishes the academic style from the colloquial one: the presence of an introduction and conclusion, a paraphrase (helps to avoid numerous citations).


The emotional part inherent in colloquial speech is excluded. Also, pay attention to grammar (less pronoun "I" and more passive constructs). Punctuation in English is a whole section that requires a separate study. Use complex sentences, quote correctly. Do not forget to include in the list of references all sources involved.

Features of the essay as a genre

Essay writing is accompanied by a number of rules - you can't do it the way you want. You can express your own opinion, but be sure to give reasons for it, make causal relationships, rely on the experience of researchers and politicians. To memorize vocabulary, constructions and useful information, read scientific articles several times a week, refer to textbooks that develop academic writing skills.

How to make the text unique? This can be problematic due to the fact that such works are replete with standard phrases and terms characteristic of this style. Read more and practice vocabulary to gradually get rid of clichés that negatively affect uniqueness.

More often than not, articles about improving academic English are useless: they are written to order and provide abstract information. Here is a list of some really smart resources:

  1. Adrian Wallwork - English for Academic Research: Vocabulary
  2. Adrian Wallwork - English for Writing Research Papers (English for Academic Research)
  3. Adrian Wallwork– English for Academic Research: Grammar, Usage and Style
  4. Adrian Wallwork - English for Academic Research: Grammar Exercises
  5. Adrian Wallwork - Presentations, Demos, and Training Sessions: A Guide to Professional English
  6. Martin Hewings and Michael McCarthy - Cambridge Academic English An Integrated Skills
  7. Thaine Craig. - Cambridge Academic English
  8. Oxford Learner's Dictionary of Academic English
  9. Porter David - Check Your English Vocabulary for Academic English
  10. Oxford Writing Tutor
  11. M. V. Savelyeva, O. V. Maslova - English for Academic Purposes. Writing Essays
  12. Jordan RR - Academic Writing Course.
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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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