Create vocabulary maps and learn the best words to use in your academic writing.

Choosing the right words to include in your essays and papers is challenging when you don’t know a lot of English vocabulary. So, you should study vocabulary almost every day.  And vocabulary mind maps help you learn academic English words quickly.

When you add new words to your writing it makes everything you write more interesting. But, you should know which words are the best for your essay.  You don’t want to pick a word because it sounds “smart.”

You want to select the correct word that says what you mean.

You want to know the definition of words and how to use them. That’s why this writing challenge focuses on creating academic vocabulary mind maps.

What is academic vocabulary?

There are 2 main types of academic vocabulary: 

Common Academic Vocabularythese are general academic words that you use in educational and professional settings.

You can find general academic vocabulary on the Academic Word List

This is a list of the 570 most common academic word families in English.  A word family has a root word and then other variations of that word.    Dr. Averil Coxhead created the Academic Word List, and she divided this list into 10 Sublists.

Sublist 1 has the most common academic words, and then Sublist 2 has the second most etc.

Subject Area Vocabularythese are words that are specific to an area of study or a profession.

The best place to find subject area words is in the books and journals you read for the courses you take.  You also find them in the books, journals and professional magazines you read for work.

If you want more information about academic vocabulary, see my post, “5 Unique Ways to Increase Your Academic Vocabulary and Elevate Your Academic Essays”

How do you make an academic vocabulary mind map? 

A vocabulary mind map begins with the main word in a circle in the middle of the map.Then you can connect that word to all or some of these 5 elements:Academic Vocabulary Mind Map

  1. Definition of the word–written in your own words
  2. Examples of the word–these could be in sentences and/or drawings
  3. Related words– words with the same root or words connected to the same topic
  4. Synonyms–words with same or almost the same meaning
  5. Antonyms–words with the opposite meaning

Watch the video, “How to Learn English Vocabulary with Mind Maps” to see what a mind map looks like, and how I made it.

Academic Vocabulary Mind Map Challenge

Your Writing Challenge: Create your own academic vocabulary mind map using one of these 5 words:

  1. Analyze
  2. Authority
  3. Derive
  4. Research
  5. Theory

Then comment below and let me know what you think of vocabulary mind maps!  And if this post helped you, please share it online.