'Roads to Academic Reading' - Resources section:

When you read an academic text, you are expected to do much more than simply understand the words of the text and summarize main ideas.

At college or university level, students are also expected to:

  • recognize the author's purpose and possible bias.
  • differentiate between facts and author's opinions.
  • challenge questionable assumptions and unsupported claims.
  • think about possible consequences of the author's claims.
  • integrate information across multiple sources.
  • identify rival hypotheses, possible contradictions and competing views.
  • evaluate evidence and draw their own conclusions instead of simply accepting what the author says.

These are just some of the basic components of critical reasoning, and doing all this isn't easy, and it becomes almost impossible if you don’t know the meaning of the words you read. 

But understanding the words isn't enough - critically evaluating the information you read is a key digital competence - one of the four most important skills that all citizens - not just students - need to master in the twenty-first century. Together with critical reasoning, three more key skills include creative thinking, collaboration and communication. Because these four skills all start with the letter C, they are often called the '4Cs'.  

Many of the vocabulary exercises on this site are designed to help you develop these 4Cs - you can do these exercises on your own, anytime, anywhere. (See table below). 

 

Resource # 1:

Lists of exercises that focus on critical evaluation of information and academic literacy  

High-frequency academic vocabulary

 Exercise #

 Exercise focus:

 

alternative

Exercise 4

Questions to evaluate alternative treatments.

 

analysis

Exercise 4

Questions to help you do a critical analysis of information.

 

assume

Exercise 4

Identifying hidden assumptions.

 

available

Exercise 4

How to evaluate available information.

 

chart

Exercise 5

Which chart is distorting information?

 

conclusion

Exercise 3

 What are valid conclusions based on?

 

context

Exercise 5

How taking something out of context can distort meaning.        

 

data

Exercise 3

Questions that help you to examine data.

 

distort

Exercise 5

What can cause distortion?

 

environment

Exercise 4

Can you read between the lines?

 

evaluation

Exercise 4

Questions to ask yourself when you evaluate research data.

 

evidence

Exercise 5

Same evidence, different conclusions.

 

exposure

Exercise 4

Exposing flaws or weak points in a writer's argument.

 

inferred

Exercise 4

Inferring meaning from context.

 

interpretation

Exercise 4

Same numbers, different interpretations.

 

logic

Exercise 4

Which questions can help you think logically?

 

period

Exercise 4

What's similar, what's different?

 

policy

Exercise 4

Which questions can help you check these statistics?

 

 

published

Exercise 5

Evaluating information published on the internet.

 

rational

Exercise 4

How our irrational assumptions can affect our emotions.

 

reliability

Exercise 3

How do I know if information on the internet is reliable?

 

resolution

Exercise 4

Reading between the lines – use your clues.

 

source

Exercise 4

Questions to help you evaluate information.

 

statistics

Exercise 4

Lies, big lies and statistics.

 

 
  Exercises that focus on creative thinking

High-frequency academic vocabulary

Exercise #

 Exercise focus:

create

 

Exercise 4

SCAMPER - strategy for creative thinking.

 

flexibility

 

Exercise 4

Keys to creative thinking.

 

foundation

 

Exercise 5

What are the foundations of creativity?

 

instance

Exercise 3

Relationship between creativity and knowledge.

 

 

 Exercises that focus on academic literacy

High-frequency academic vocabulary

Exercise #

 

 

Exercise focus: 

abstract 

Exercise 3

What's in an abstract?

acknowledged 

Exercise 3

What is an "acknowledgement page"?

ambiguous 

Exercise 4

Why do writers sometimes write ambiguous sentences?

assumptions 

Exercise 4

Assumptions - the building blocks of scientific theories.

coherence 

Exercise 4

What makes presentations more coherent?

contrast 

Exercise 4

Recognizing markers that signal contrast.

definite 

Exercise 4

Markers that signal doubt or uncertainty.

definition 

Exercise 4

Problems with defining a word - narrow and broad definitions.

deviation 

Exercise 3

What can deviation tell us about test scores?

distribution 

Exercise 3

What can we learn from a distribution?

empirical 

Exercise 4

What is empirical evidence?

error 

Exercise 3

What does a 'degree of error' mean?

framework 

Exercise 5

Why is a theoretical framework important?

hypothesis 

Exercise 3

Why is a hypothesis important?

indicate 

Exercise 4

What are "hedges" in an academic text?

integration 

Exercise 4

The purpose of a literature review.

interaction 

Exercise 5

 Correlation or cause and effect?

intervention 

Exercise 5

What does 'intervention' mean in a research context?

manipulation 

Exercise 4

What does 'manipulation' mean in a research context?

monitor 

Exercise 6

How monitoring can improve your reading comprehension.

outcomes 

Exercise 4

Why are outcomes difficult to measure?

overlap 

Exercise 4

How Venn diagrams work.

parameters 

Exercise 4

What are some parameters for scientific research?

quotation 

Exercise 3

How to avoid plagiarism

random 

Exercise 4

What are 'random' mean in a research context?

section

Exercise 4

What you are expected to write in your literature review.

strategies

Exercise 5

A learning strategy to help you remember information.

summary

Exercise 4

What are you expected to do when you write a summary?

theme

Exercise 4

Differences between a theme and a summary.

virtually

Exercise 3

Find the clues that tell you what the writer really thinks.


Resource #2:

Here are 570 words that often appear in academic words - so knowing these words will help you read faster and undertand what you read.

Students who finish high school are expected to already know the words at CEFR A1 - B2 levels on the lists below. Here are 300 sets of exercises for you to do on your own to check if you still remember these words: 

Links to 300 sets of flashcards and exercises for CEFR words that also appear on Coxhead's (2000) Academic Word List: 

 Sublist  1   Sublist 2   Sublist 3   Sublist 4  Sublist 5   Sublist 6  Sublist 7  Sublist 8   Sublist 9    Sublist 10  

AWL Sublist 1

CEFR level

analysis

B2

approach

B1

area

A2

assessment

B2

assume

B2

authority

B2

available

A2

benefit

B1

concept

B2

consistent

C2

context

B2

create

B1

data

B2

definition

B2

derived

C1

distribution

C1

economy

B2

environment

B1

established

B2

estimate

B2

evidence

B2

factors

B2

financial

B1

formula

C1

function

B2

identified

B2

indicate

B2

individual

B1

interpretation

C2

involved

B1

issues

B1

major

B2

method

B1

occur

B2

period

B1

policy

B2

principle

C1

process

B2

required

B1

research

B1

response

B2

role

B1

section

B1

significant

B2

similar

B1

source

B2

structure

B2

theory

B2

variables

C1

 

 

AWL sublist 2

CEFR level

achieve

B1

acquire

B2

affect

B2

appropriate

B2

aspects

B2

assistance

B2

categories

B2

community

B2

complex

B2

conclusion

B1

conduct

B2

consequences

B2

construction

B2

cultural

B1

design

B1

distinction

B2

elements

B2

equation

C1

evaluation

C1

features

B2

focus

B2

impact

B2

investment

B2

maintenance

B2

obtained

B2

participation

Unlisted

perceived

C1

previous

B1

range

B1

relevant

B2

resources

B2

restricted

C1

strategies

B2

survey

B2

traditional

B1

transfer

B1

 

AWL Sublist 3

CEFR level

alternative

B2

circumstances

B2

compensation

Unlisted

components

C1

considerable

B2

constant

B2

constraints

C2

contribution

B2

core

C2

criteria

C1

deduce

C2

demonstrate

B2

document

A2

emphasis

B2

ensure

B2

excluded

C1

framework

C2

illustrated

B2

implies

C2

initial

B1

instance

B1

interaction

C1

justification

C2

layer

B2

location

B1

maximize

C2

minor

B2

outcomes

C1

partnership

B2

proportion

C1

published

B1

reaction

B2

reliability

C1

removed

B1

sequence

C1

shift

B2

specified

B2

sufficient

B2

task

B2

validity

C2

 

AWL Sublist 4

CEFR level

access

B1

adequate

B2

apparent

B2

approximate

B2

attitudes

B1

attributed

C2

communication

B1

concentration

B2

contrast

B2

cycle

B1

debate

B2

dimensions

B2

emerged

B2

error

B2

goals

A2

hypothesis

C2

implementation

C2

implications

C1

integration

C1

internal

B2

investigation

B2

mechanism

C1

obvious

B1

overall

B2

parallel

C2

parameters

Unlisted

phase

B2

predicted

B1

promote

B1

resolution

C2

series

B1

statistics

B2

stress

B1

subsequent

C1

summary

B2

 

 

AWL sublist 5

CEFR level

academic

B2

adjustment

B2

alter

B2

aware

B2

capacity

B2

challenge

B1

conflict

B2

decline

B2

enable

B2

equivalent

C1

expansion

B2

exposure

C1

external

B2

facilitate

C1

fundamental

C2

generated

B2

image

B2

logic

C1

marginal

C2

modified

C1

monitor

B2

network

B2

objective

B2

perspective

C1

precise

B2

ratio

C1

rejected

B2

stability

C1

substitution

C1

symbolic

C2

target

B2

transition

C2

trend

B1

version

B2

 

 

AWL sublist 6

CEFR level

abstract

B2

accurate

B1

acknowledged

C1

capable

B2

cited

Unlisted

cooperative

B2

discrimination

C1

display

B1

diversity

C1

enhanced

C1

exceed

C1

expert

B1

explicit

C2

flexibility

B2

ignored

B2

incentive

C2

inhibition

C2

initiatives

C1

motivation

B2

neutral

C1

preceding

C2

rational

C1

recovery

B2

revealed

B2

trace

B2

transformation

C1

transport

B1

underlying

C2

utilize

Unlisted

 

 

AWL sublist 7

CEFR level

adaptation

C1

advocate

C2

comprehensive

C1

comprise

C1

confirmed

B1

definite

B2

deny

B2

differentiation

Unlisted

eliminate

C1

empirical

C2

equipment

B1

extract

B2

foundation

C1

guarantee

B2

hierarchy

C2

identical

B2

inferred

C2

innovation

C1

intervention

C2

isolated

C1

media

B2

mode

C1

paradigm

C2

priority

B2

quotation

C2

release

B2

successive

C2

topic

B1

transmission

C2

unique

B2

 

 

 

AWL sublist 8

CEFR levels

accompanied

B1

accumulation

C2

ambiguous

C2

bias

C2

chart

B2

clarify

C1

complement

Unlisted

contemporary

B2

contradiction

C2

crucial

B2

deviation

Unlisted

fluctuations

Unlisted

guidelines

C1

highlighted

B2

implicit

C2

intensity

C2

manipulation

Unlisted

minimized

C1

offset

C2

random

C1

reinforced

C1

revision

B1

theme

B2

virtually

B2

 

 

AWL sublist 9

CEFR level

analogy

C2

anticipated

C1

coherence

C2

confined

C2

controversy

C1

diminished

C1

distorted

C1

incompatible

Unlisted

inherent

C2

insights

C1

mature

B2

mediation

Unlisted

mutual

C1

overlap

C2

refine

C2

supplementary

C2

temporary

B1

trigger

C1

vision

B2

 

AWL sublist 10

CEFR levels

convinced

B1

ongoing

C2

persistent

C2

 

Not all AWL words have exercises on this site. Words  like 'commission' and 'legislation' that appear mostly in specific disciplines, do not have exercises yet.

For exercises on additional AWL words, see http://www.uefap.com/vocab/select/awl.htm