CoverObjectivesThe Writing ProcessAddressing the PromptPrewritingWritingRevisingOriginalityTimed Writing 1Integrated Writing 1Introduction to Academic EssaysEssay Shape and OrganizationIntroduction ParagraphsBody ParagraphsConclusion ParagraphsExample EssayTimed Writing 2Integrated Writing 2Descriptive EssaysExample Descriptive Essay 1Example Descriptive Essay 2PrewritingWriting: Word ChoiceSources: QuotingRevisingRevise: Descriptive EssayComparison EssaysExample Comparison Essay 1Example Comparison Essay 2PrewritingWriting: UnitySources: SummarizingRevisingRevise: Comparison EssayCause-Effect EssaysExample EssayPrewritingWritingParaphrasingRevisingRevise: Cause-Effect EssayRefining WritingDevelopmentCohesionWriting for the TOEFLIntegrated Writing TaskIndependent Writing TaskNuts and BoltsPunctuationUsing Academic VocabularyUsing SourcesFinding SourcesAnswer KeyThe Writing Process AKIntroduction to Academic Essays AKUsing Sources AKCitationsDescriptive Essays AKComparison Essays AKCause-Effect Essays AKRefining Writing AKWriting for the TOEFL AKNuts and Bolts AK

Using Academic Vocabulary

At a minimum, you need to know the meaning, the part of speech, and the collocates.


Make sure you know what words mean. Sometimes when you use words incorrectly, it is because you don't fully understand what it means.

Part of Speech

You also need to know what part of speech it is.

A noun... a person, place, thing, or idea.

...can be described with adjectives.

...frequently follows determiners.

*common suffixes include "sion/tion" (condition); "ance/ence" (difference); "ment" (development); "ity" (activity)

A verb... a word that shows action.

...can be described with adverbs.

...follows subjects (or comes before objects).

...can be changed to show past or future tense.

*common suffixes include "ate" (indicate); "ize" (recognize); "ify" (identify)

An adjective... a word that describes a noun.

...usually comes before a noun or after a verb like BE.

*common suffixes include "ive" (effective); "ful" (useful); "ic" (specific)

An adverb... a word that describes verbs, adjectives, and sentences.

...can be in many different places in a sentence.

*common suffixes include "ly" (quickly)


A collocate is a word that is frequently used with another word. Sometimes when you use academic vocabulary, your teacher will tell you that you have a "word choice" error or your roommate may tell you that it "sounds funny." That is often because you used a word that is not a collocate. You should memorize a couple of collocates with each new word you learn. You can find lists of collocates on the LEAP dashboard,, in collocation dictionaries, and in your LEAP vocabulary packet. Using these lists while you make sentences will help you remember the words in a natural context.

Look at the chart below. You will notice that some words have a noun, verb, adjective, and adverb form that are all a little different. Some words do not. Some words even have the same form for two different parts of speech.














be honest




be confident, have confidence



1 Exercise: Identify word forms

Fill in the word forms that you know.

Noun Verb Adjective Adverb
sustainability     ------------
    explanatory ------------
part ------------    

You need to be careful in your writing to use the correct word form.

2 Exercise: Revise for word form errors

Find the word form errors. 

       The homework assignment looked easy, but I did not know how to completely it. I asked my study buddy to help me because he is so intelligence. Apparent, he is really good at learning languages, because he is learning three languages at BYU. I know one day he will be famously. I respectful him a lot.