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AWARE Writing Centre: Academic Word List (AWL)

Academic Writing and Research Excellence

Academic Word List (Victoria University of Wellington)

This site focuses on the 570 words that make up the Academic Word List (AWL), which is subdivided into ten subsists. The AWL was primarily made so that it could be used by teachers as part of a programme preparing learners for tertiary level study or used by students working alone to learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions. The Academic Word List replaces the University Word List.

Games and Quizzes

The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia, provides a nice collection of games and activities related to the AWL.

Start at list 1 & 2. The games and quizzes will help you check that you really know these words and can use them effectively. Then continue with the other lists. There are 10 lists in total. 10 minutes a day can make a difference!

Full Alphabetical List With Definitions

AWL Highlighter

Use this tool to highlight words from the AWL (Academic Word List). Enter the text in the box below then click 'submit'.

Video: An Introduction to the AWL