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- What is a Glossary? | Definition, Templates, & Examples
What Is a Glossary? | Definition, Templates, & Examples
Published on May 24, 2022 by Tegan George . Revised on November 11, 2022.
A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation , it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader.
Your glossary only needs to include terms that your reader may not be familiar with, and it’s intended to enhance their understanding of your work. Glossaries are not mandatory, but if you use a lot of technical or field-specific terms, it may improve readability to add one.
If you do choose to include a glossary, it should go at the beginning of your document, just after the table of contents and (if applicable) list of tables and figures or list of abbreviations . It’s helpful to place your glossary at the beginning, so your readers can familiarize themselves with key terms relevant to your thesis or dissertation topic prior to reading your work. Remember that glossaries are always in alphabetical order.
To help you get started, download our glossary template in the format of your choice below.
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- Table of contents
Example of a glossary
Citing sources for your glossary, additional lists to include in your dissertation, frequently asked questions about glossaries.
Glossaries and definitions often fall into the category of common knowledge , meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be cited.
However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to citing your sources , in order to avoid accidental plagiarism .
If you’d prefer to cite just in case, you can follow guidance for citing dictionary entries in MLA or APA Style for citations in your glossary. Remember that direct quotes should always be accompanied by a citation.
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In addition to the glossary, you can also include a list of tables and figures and a list of abbreviations in your thesis or dissertation if you choose.
Include your lists in the following order:
- List of figures and tables
- List of abbreviations
A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, dictionaries are more general collections of words.
A glossary or “glossary of terms” is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. Your glossary only needs to include terms that your reader may not be familiar with, and is intended to enhance their understanding of your work.
Glossaries are not mandatory, but if you use a lot of technical or field-specific terms, it may improve readability to add one to your thesis or dissertation. Your educational institution may also require them, so be sure to check their specific guidelines.
A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. In contrast, an index is a list of the contents of your work organized by page number.
Definitional terms often fall into the category of common knowledge , meaning that they don’t necessarily have to be cited. This guidance can apply to your thesis or dissertation glossary as well.
However, if you’d prefer to cite your sources , you can follow guidance for citing dictionary entries in MLA or APA style for your glossary.
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Glossary in a Dissertation
Published by Owen Ingram at August 26th, 2021 , Revised On January 10, 2023
A list of glossary contains all those terms used in your dissertation, but the meanings of which may not be evident to the readers. Here is all you need to know about the glossary in a dissertation.
Basically, any term you use in your dissertation that you know, without a doubt, is not going to be common knowledge to readers outside of your field, is included in a list called glossary. And since every field has its unique, technical jargon, a glossary list can contain many terms some readers might not have even heard of before.
A typical glossary in a dissertation may look something like this:
Do you even need glossary in your dissertation to begin with?
You may or may not be required to have a separate list of glossaries in your dissertation . The decision whether to have a list of glossaries in a dissertation depends on whether it will improve the readability of your paper.
For example, if you are writing a dissertation for an engineering degree and have used several technical terms that readers—especially laymen—may not be familiar with, \ it is advised to add a glossary in a dissertation.
Listing Terms in a Glossary
A recommended practice of adding a glossary in a dissertation is to sort the terms alphabetically and provide a definition or explanations for each of those terms. Having the terms listed in alphabetical order will help the readers to easily locate the information they are interested in.
Location of a Glossary List in a Dissertation
The glossary list is generally placed at the beginning of the dissertation paper, just after the list of tables and figures or the list of abbreviations. However, if your paper does not have a list of abbreviations or a list of tables and figures, you can place the glossary right after the table of contents .
This gives readers the opportunity to understand the meanings of key terms they are not familiar with even before they start to read the main content of the paper.
However, if you haven’t used a lot of technical terms in your dissertation, you can choose to provide an explanation and meanings of the few terms that you have used in the form of footnotes .
Difference Between Abbreviations and Glossary
It is important not to confuse the glossary in the dissertation with the abbreviations, which are put in the list of abbreviations.
A list of abbreviations contains all the terms that have abbreviations. For instance, if you have used terms like NASA, UNICEF, UNESCO, UN, NIH, etc., such terms along with what they stand for will come under the list of abbreviations.
Note, however, that only their full forms, and not their meanings, are mentioned in that list. That is what’s mentioned in a glossary list, though: meanings. Definitions of terms, terms that were used in the dissertation. The terms themselves aren’t abbreviation.
For instance, in a linguistics’ dissertation, you might end up creating a glossary list containing terms like phenomenology, code-switching, diglossia, etc. Notice how these are complete terms , not abbreviations.
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Example of a Glossary in Dissertation
If you haven’t created a list of glossaries before then you will find the below example of a glossary in a dissertation particularly useful:
Other Lists You Can Have in Your Dissertation
You might also want to have a list of tables and figures as well as a list of abbreviations in your dissertation particularly if you are writing a master’s or PhD dissertation. However, make sure to keep the following order:
- Table of contents
- Lists of figures and tables
- List of abbreviations
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FAQs about Glossary in a Dissertation
What is a glossary.
It’s a list of special terms—single words, phrases, etc.—that are not commonly known to the ‘average’ reader or to a reader who isn’t an expert in that field.
What is included in a glossary?
Ideally, words are included in a glossary. However, in some cases—depending on the topic— abbreviations , phrases etc. might also be mentioned within the list of glossary in a dissertation. Sometimes, it might also include a brief definition of how to pronounce a certain word/phrase.
What is the best way to create a glossary?
Keep in mind two things while creating a glossary list: keep the language of the definition simple so that every kind of reader can understand it. That’s why a glossary is given, to begin with, to simplify technical jargon and inform laymen. Secondly, arrange the terms inside it alphabetically.
How many times can I include the same term in a glossary list?
No matter how many times a word or a phrase appears in your dissertation , include it and define it only once in your glossary. There should be no duplicate entries in a glossary list.
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- Including Multimedia Inside Your Dissertation Document- Tips From WEX
- WEX FAQs and other editing tips / checklists
- Our Archives : Where your Dissertation will "live"
- Dissertation Titles and Online Discovery
Selecting keywords & subject headings.
- Multimedia /Data Set Inclusion - Supplemental Files
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- Your Name and Your ORCID Number
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The Dissertation Abstract
The abstract is your dissertation's calling card to the world. The abstract is usually your first connection with every potential reader. It also is a key feature in discovery of your dissertation through search engines.
Abstract Requirements and Checklist :
- Number of paragraphs : Abstract should be ONE PARAGRAPH [no returns]
- CC License Option: If you have chosen a Creative Commons License , this must specified in the abstract mentioning the type of license and linking back the the CC License page.
- how many supplemental files
- type of file
- whether or not they are also accessible within the PDF.
- T his includes the author video abstract
- Length: Abstracts no longer have length requirements in UMI/Proquest, but the print version of the database will cut off at 350 words MAXIMUM. APA Style calls for 150-250 words, which is most reasonable. The shorter, the better.
- Final Sentence : To enhance discovery every abstract must carry this sentence at the end
This dissertation is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, https://aura.antioch.edu/ and OhioLINK ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Keywords are also essential to your dissertation being discovered online.
- Place the keywords a few lines below the Abstract in your dissertation
- Your Keyword field is limited to 350 characters
- The Keywords in the Final Submission Form must match the Keywords in the Dissertation
Selecting Keyword :
Consider: Which words would someone interested in my dissertation use?
- Language/ Jargon used in your academic field? e,g, community of practice, best self
- Synonyms and Related Terms: e.g. non-profit, not-for-profit, third sector / eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia
- Alternate Spellings : e.g. organisation, organization
- Methodology : e.g. grounded theory, qualitative, etc.
- Population: e.g. teachers, executives, African Americans, college students, grandparents
- Venue: e.g. workplace, corporations, elementary schools
Test your Keywords in Google and Google Scholar to see if they yield the items similar to your dissertation.
On the Final Submission Form you will also be able to select Subject Headings for the Ohiolink ETD Center Archive;
- These subject headings DO NOT go into your dissertation
- This is a "Controlled Vocabulary" List. You cannot change or add to the list. There is no Subject Heading for LEADERSHIP. So add 'leadership' in your keyword list.
- Choose the most appropriate subject headings for your dissertation.
Attached below is the current list from which you will choose.
- << Previous: Dissertation Titles and Online Discovery
- Next: Multimedia /Data Set Inclusion - Supplemental Files >>
- Last Updated: Feb 24, 2023 2:20 PM
- URL: https://libguides-phd.antioch.edu/AUETDCENTRAL
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100+ Research Vocabulary Words & Phrases
The academic community can be conservative when it comes to enforcing academic writing style , but your writing shouldn’t be so boring that people lose interest midway through the first paragraph! Given that competition is at an all-time high for academics looking to publish their papers, we know you must be anxious about what you can do to improve your publishing odds.
To be sure, your research must be sound, your paper must be structured logically, and the different manuscript sections must contain the appropriate information. But your research must also be clearly explained. Clarity obviously depends on the correct use of English, and there are many common mistakes that you should watch out for, for example when it comes to articles , prepositions , word choice , and even punctuation . But even if you are on top of your grammar and sentence structure, you can still make your writing more compelling (or more boring) by using powerful verbs and phrases (vs the same weaker ones over and over). So, how do you go about achieving the latter?
Below are a few ways to breathe life into your writing.
1. Analyze Vocabulary Using Word Clouds
Have you heard of “Wordles”? A Wordle is a visual representation of words, with the size of each word being proportional to the number of times it appears in the text it is based on. The original company website seems to have gone out of business, but there are a number of free word cloud generation sites that allow you to copy and paste your draft manuscript into a text box to quickly discover how repetitive your writing is and which verbs you might want to replace to improve your manuscript.
Seeing a visual word cloud of your work might also help you assess the key themes and points readers will glean from your paper. If the Wordle result displays words you hadn’t intended to emphasize, then that’s a sign you should revise your paper to make sure readers will focus on the right information.
As an example, below is a Wordle of our article entitled, “ How to Choose the Best title for Your Journal Manuscript .” You can see how frequently certain terms appear in that post, based on the font size of the text. The keywords, “titles,” “journal,” “research,” and “papers,” were all the intended focus of our blog post.
2. Study Language Patterns of Similarly Published Works
Study the language pattern found in the most downloaded and cited articles published by your target journal. Understanding the journal’s editorial preferences will help you write in a style that appeals to the publication’s readership.
Another way to analyze the language of a target journal’s papers is to use Wordle (see above). If you copy and paste the text of an article related to your research topic into the applet, you can discover the common phrases and terms the paper’s authors used.
For example, if you were writing a paper on links between smoking and cancer , you might look for a recent review on the topic, preferably published by your target journal. Copy and paste the text into Wordle and examine the key phrases to see if you’ve included similar wording in your own draft. The Wordle result might look like the following, based on the example linked above.
If you are not sure yet where to publish and just want some generally good examples of descriptive verbs, analytical verbs, and reporting verbs that are commonly used in academic writing, then have a look at this list of useful phrases for research papers .
3. Use More Active and Precise Verbs
Have you heard of synonyms? Of course you have. But have you looked beyond single-word replacements and rephrased entire clauses with stronger, more vivid ones? You’ll find this task is easier to do if you use the active voice more often than the passive voice . Even if you keep your original sentence structure, you can eliminate weak verbs like “be” from your draft and choose more vivid and precise action verbs. As always, however, be careful about using only a thesaurus to identify synonyms. Make sure the substitutes fit the context in which you need a more interesting or “perfect” word. Online dictionaries such as the Merriam-Webster and the Cambridge Dictionary are good sources to check entire phrases in context in case you are unsure whether a synonym is a good match for a word you want to replace.
To help you build a strong arsenal of commonly used phrases in academic papers, we’ve compiled a list of synonyms you might want to consider when drafting or editing your research paper . While we do not suggest that the phrases in the “Original Word/Phrase” column should be completely avoided, we do recommend interspersing these with the more dynamic terms found under “Recommended Substitutes.”
A. Describing the scope of a current project or prior research
B. outlining a topic’s background, c. describing the analytical elements of a paper, d. discussing results, e. discussing methods, f. explaining the impact of new research, wordvice writing resources.
For additional information on how to tighten your sentences (e.g., eliminate wordiness and use active voice to greater effect), you can try Wordvice’s FREE APA Citation Generator and learn more about how to proofread and edit your paper to ensure your work is free of errors.
Before submitting your manuscript to academic journals, be sure to get proofreading services and English editing services from Wordvice, including academic editing services , cover letter editing , manuscript editing , and research paper editing services .
We also have a collection of other useful articles for you, for example on how to strengthen your writing style , how to avoid fillers to write more powerful sentences , and how to eliminate prepositions and avoid nominalizations . Additionally, get advice on all the other important aspects of writing a research paper on our academic resources pages .
Learn words with flashcards and other activities, other learning activities, teaching tools, full list of words from this list:.
- advocacy active support of an idea or cause
- advocate a person who pleads for a person, cause, or idea
- spellbind put into a trance
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Useful Phrases when Writing a Dissertation Abstract
A dissertation abstract is an important component of this complex type of academic paper. Taking the spot in the beginning of the research, the abstract is basically the first description of your work read by the target audience. In other words, a dissertation abstract is your opportunity to set the right word flow and accurate expectations.
Your task in the abstract is to summarize the whole thesis in few sentences, as well as present the major elements of the work being discussed after it. Together with the title of the dissertation, the abstract stands in the form of an announcement of a particular research or examination, aiming to give the reader an idea as to what they should expect from the remaining of your paper.
But, do not see the abstract as an introduction – there is an actual introduction that follows after it. Your abstract is a preamble or preface that prepares the reader for the entire paper, not just its body paragraphs or research.
Writing a Dissertation Abstract Chapter
Generally speaking, the dissertation abstract consists of one or more sentences that summarize the paper's chapters. For example, if you have five or seven chapters, you should create few sentences assigned to each of them.
What should a dissertation abstract look like?
In order to create a good abstract, you should implement the following tips:
- Specify your research questions clearly
- Locate the research questions in the beginning of the abstract
- Present one to three questions only
- Use the last parts of the abstract to summarize and interpret the results of the research
- Use proper phrases to make the content concise and academic-like
How a Professional Dissertation Writer Writes a Dissertation Abstract
For most PhD candidates, the dissertation abstract is the most challenging thing that they ever had to write. It's a big challenge. This paper should be brief, but inspiring and insightful at the same time.
When you know how professional dissertation writers approach it, you may get into the right mindset. This is what makes our professional writers different:
- Writing is their profession. Just like a lab technician is paid to conduct tests in the lab, a professional writer with a degree in chemistry is paid to write dissertations in their niche. They approach the process with all seriousness. Like any other professional, they want to make career progress, and they do that by doing an awesome job.
- A professional writer has experience in completing dissertation abstracts. It's not their first time. They've written their own abstract and completed a dissertation to earn their degree. They have helped several other candidates to cope with their projects. They know what the mentor and the committee members want to see in an abstract.
- Our professional writers are trained to implement the rules of various citation styles. This is the point that gets most students challenged. They don't know how to format a project of this level. Our professional writers have those skills.
When you want to complete your own dissertation abstract, you should get into the mindset of a pro writer. Imagine that this is your job and your paycheck depends on it. Learn everything that you need to learn before you start writing.
Phrases to Use in Your Dissertation Abstract
This dissertation/ This research…
- examines the purpose/ the role of
- strives to illuminate/ aims to distinguish between
- tests the idea of/ developed an idea about
- investigates the purpose/ effects of
I / I have…
- outlined the how's and when's of
- investigated the role of/ purpose of
- introduced the concept/ idea of
- examined the relationship between X and Y
- identified the following
- extended prior work on
- evaluated these X by doing Y
In addition to these samples for starting a sentence, you could also use the following ideas to start your abstract:
- Lead with your research question/s
Use sentences such as: 'This dissertation is motivated by the following research questions', or '[Research question] is the core of the X.
- Lead with the hypotheses
If you do not want to start with the research question right away, you can start with sentences such as 'This dissertation offers the following hypotheses', or 'I hypothesize that'.
- Start off with a literature component
To spice things up and show your interest in the topic, you can always lead with some literature components. For example, you can use sentences such as 'Previous research indicates/ has shown that', or 'Literature on the specific area has focused on'.
- Lead with the goals and aims of the dissertation
Set the goals of your research right away to start your abstract in an interesting way. You can use sentences such as 'This dissertation has x goals' or 'The purpose and main aims of the dissertation include'.
- Present the significance of the study
Finally, you can start of by showing the reader why the study is worth reading in the first place. You can achieve this by using sentences such as 'The most important contribution of the study is', 'The study presents our understanding of', or 'I developed theory to explain'.
Research Strategy Components
- A field study/ a research /an experiment to test out my hypotheses
- A case study/ an inductive study of X
I/ We employed…
- Various/ multiple methods to test
- Several methods to evaluate/ differentiate
- X case analysis
- Samples and data of x sources
- Data analysis from
- [company name or type]'s ideas and previous case studies
The research findings…
- Address the belief that
- Confirm/ reject a controversial belief
- Illustrate how and why
- Show the impact of X on Y
- Illustrate the consequences and reasons why
- Suggests the possible effects/ results of
As we predicted…
Contrary to our expectations…
- Theoretical contributions
- Managerial implications of all findings
- Discussion of future research
- The findings
In such case, you can always start with phrases and sentences such as:
- Provide support for the prediction / the key arguments
- Supports the set model
- Offers a solution
- Offers an insight into
- Prompts re-thinking of
We conclude that…/ In conclusion/ Finally…
These phrases should make the writing process much easier for you. Just go through the list and pick the one you find most suitable for your particular research. If you do this right, you are about to write the best dissertation there is!
Stress Does Not Do You Well. Remember: There's Always a Solution
Sometimes getting tips is not enough.
You can use all the useful phrases in your dissertation abstract and still get stuck. Academic writing is not about the generic phrases that you should use. It's about the essence in between those phrases. We can get you inspired with our tips regarding the writing process, but you're responsible to beef up that outline.
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Academic Vocabulary: Words And Phrases To Use In Your Papers
Vocabulary, as a whole, is known as a collection of words that can be used in a similar context or not. English vocabulary is one of the most difficult aspects to tackle in English especially for second language speakers or learners. Based on where the language is to be used, there are different types of vocabulary that a person may need to know.
One of such types is the academic vocabulary. What is academic vocabulary, its types, uses, examples, and how it is taught? We would look into all that pertains to academic vocabulary as we go on.
What Is Academic Vocabulary?
Academic words help build the students’ knowledge of a particular subject or domain. It gives the necessary skills to digest and reproduce the knowledge they have. Academic vocabulary words are used in spoken and written contexts. In teaching academic vocabulary, there are academic writing words and spoken words. Other than this broad classification, academic vocabulary consists of two major types.
Types Of Academic Vocabulary
Academic vocabulary can be divided into two types. They are:
General academic vocabulary consists of words that are commonly used in the academic context. While some are more general than others, some general academic words set the tone of the writing or speech to show it is formal or academic writing. For instance, in a phrase like ‘the aim of this report is to…’ the words, aim, and report are general academic words. While the other words in the phrase like this, the, and to are just more general words used in an academic context. Words used in academic contexts to link other words are known as academic transition words. These words are more general than others.
These words are essential academic vocabulary. These words are peculiar to a particular field and will only be understood in their context. There are various subject-specific academic vocabulary lists. For example, inertia (used in physics), photosynthesis (used in biology), externalities (used in economics).
Over time, teachers of languages especially the English language have complied lists of words used in academic context by levels of grade. Students can learn academic vocabulary by grade level. They can use a daily academic vocabulary online to learn more about these words.
Academic Vocabulary Lists
In a bid to help students learn the words in an academic context, various resources have been provided by teachers. Most of these resources are vocabulary lists that students can visit to update their knowledge of these words. Some of these resources provide the meaning and usage of the words in context while in others, you will have to find that out on your own.
Note that these lists are by no means complete, you will have to do personal deeper research to proclaim a sound knowledge of academic vocabulary.
One of the popular compilations is the Academic Word List (AWL). You can use this resource to build your academic vocabulary for the written context. The AWL Highlighter will also help you study the definitions, pronunciation, sentence examples of the words and the appropriate usage of the words in context. The New Academic Word List (NAWL) is a similar, updated list which can also be used. For Academic English, you can use lists like the Academic Collocation List (ACL) and the Academic Formulas List (AFL). The ACL consists of collocations used in written contexts in English academic texts. AFL consists of formulaic sequences that can be used in English academic writings. There are also special academic lists created for various courses of study. Users can use them to learn words related to their field. The Economics Academic Word List (EAWL) is one such list and it also has an EAWL Highlighter that can be used to understand the words.
Examples Of Academic Vocabulary By Grade Level
An academic vocabulary list by grade level can be used to teach students at different levels of technical and general words that they can use to excel in academic contexts whether in writing or speech. There are various examples of academic vocabulary on each level. This is very basic, but it might give you a better idea of what to expect if you are, for example, working on English dissertation writing . You can also use some of the examples below to gauge the level at which your students need to start expanding their knowledge of academic words. To be on the safe side, you can consult professional writers, who will answer all the questions you may have.
Grade 1 : odd, minus, equal, noun, city Grade 2 : fiction, prey, behavior, pound, graph Grade 3 : agriculture, economy, perimeter, glossary, multiple Grade 4 : bay, preface, sediment, evidence, stationary Grade 5 : compromise, religion, slavery, conjunction, onomatopoeia Grade 6 : appositive, propaganda, membrane, mutualism, niche Grade 7 : patterns, density, temperature, maneuver, immigration Grade 8 : elaboration, techniques, dependency, examination, hygiene Grade 9 : conservation, allegory, implicit, democracy, campaigning Grade 10-12 : naturalization, jurisdiction, synthetic, aesthetic, ballad
Academic vocabulary is important to learning especially when learning any language as a second language. Second language users of English have adequate resources to make learning academic words in English easy. Based on your grade level, you can dive into the meaning and use of words in an academic context.
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A glossary is a collection of words pertaining to a specific topic. In your thesis or dissertation, it’s a list of all terms you used that may not immediately be obvious to your reader. Your glossary only needs to include terms that your reader may not be familiar with, and it’s intended to enhance their understanding of your work.
A list of glossary contains all those terms used in your dissertation, but the meanings of which may not be evident to the readers. Here is all you need to know about the glossary in a dissertation. Basically, any term you use in your dissertation that you know, without a doubt, is not going to be common knowledge to readers outside of your field, is included in a list called glossary.
These subject headings DO NOT go into your dissertation This is a "Controlled Vocabulary" List. You cannot change or add to the list. There is no Subject Heading for LEADERSHIP. So add 'leadership' in your keyword list. Choose the most appropriate subject headings for your dissertation. Attached below is the current list from which you will choose.
If you are not sure yet where to publish and just want some generally good examples of descriptive verbs, analytical verbs, and reporting verbs that are commonly used in academic writing, then have a look at this list of useful phrases for research papers. 3. Use More Active and Precise Verbs Have you heard of synonyms? Of course you have.
Assign activities Assign learning activities including Practice, Vocabulary Jams and Spelling Bees to your students, and monitor their progress in real-time. Full list of words from this list: words only definitions & notes advocacy active support of an idea or cause advocate a person who pleads for a person, cause, or idea spellbind
To help you out, we have created a list of some sample phrases you can use in your dissertation abstract. All phrases are separated into the four key components of every abstract: study background, research strategy components, findings and conclusions. Study background Here are some ideas for setting the background to your dissertation's study:
Examples Of Academic Vocabulary By Grade Level Grade 1: odd, minus, equal, noun, city Grade 2: fiction, prey, behavior, pound, graph Grade 3: agriculture, economy, perimeter, glossary, multiple Grade 4: bay, preface, sediment, evidence, stationary Grade 5: compromise, religion, slavery, conjunction, ...
Academic Vocabulary, Useful Phrases and Sentences for Academic Writing and Research Paper Writing? I am after academic writing resources predominantly academic phrases, vocabulary, word lists...