Insights turns 4!

You are here

English for academic writing: A helpful dictionary for researchers

Yateendra Joshi | Dec 2, 2014 | 19,260 views
Brief reveiw of Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English

A key skill in writing is using the right words. Academics and researchers have extensive vocabularies. It takes years of studying a subject to master its jargon. However, when it comes to using words, it is not the specialized terminology of a subject that worries academics; the difficulty lies in using words that are common to most genres of academic writing irrespective of the subject or the domain. Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English [1] focuses on just those words, which it refers to as "general academic" words. It is a dictionary for those who are learning English specifically to pursue academic studies in different subjects including the sciences. The dictionary that has been designed to "meet the particular needs of these students with an exclusive, detailed focus on the language of academic writing."

A large desk dictionary such as the Oxford Dictionary of English aims at being comprehensive and has over 350,000 words, phrases, and meanings. At 22,000 words, phrases, and meanings, the academic dictionary is selective, not comprehensive. This stock of words is drawn from four broad fields, namely the physical, life, and social sciences, and the humanities. In addition to typical dictionary entries, this dictionary offers a great deal of other useful information through text boxes, variously titled as "Which word?", Thesaurus, "Grammar point," and "Language bank." "Which word?", for example, is meant to bring out the distinctions between pairs of words such as generally and commonly, narrow and thin, and principal and principle.

Because dictionaries deal with words, they treat language at a more ‘granular’ level. Academic English, on the other hand, requires proficiency in such genres of writing as essays, abstracts, literature review, and emails. This is where the Oxford Academic Writing Tutor comes in, which takes the form of a useful 48-page supplement to the main dictionary. The tutor, in turn, is supplemented with the interactive Oxford Academic iWriter on CD-ROM (which comes with the printed version of the dictionary). The disk has model texts, tips on structuring text, and help with writing a range of assignments such as essays, case studies, and dissertations.

Perhaps these innovations have led to the dictionary being shortlisted for the 2014 Duke of Edinburgh English Language Book Awards, which "celebrate innovation and good practice in the field of the English language and English language teaching."

[1] OUP. 2014. Oxford Learner’s Dictionary of Academic English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Become an Editage Insights member
Sign up with your email address and gain unrestricted access to exclusive content
By clicking 'Join Now', you agree to our Terms & Privacy Policy.

Republish

Like this article? Republish it!
Knowledge should be open to all. We encourage our viewers to republish articles, online or in print. Our Creative Commons license allows you to do so for free. We only ask you to follow a few simple guidelines:
  • Attribution: Remember to attribute our authors. They spend a lot of time and effort in creating this content for you.
  • Editage Insights: Include an attribution to Editage Insights as the original source.
  • Consider a teaser: Yes, that’s what we call it…a teaser. You could include a few lines of this post and say “Read the whole article on Editage Insights”. Don’t forget to add the link to the article.
  • Re-using images: Re-publishing some of the images from our articles may need prior permission from or credit to the original image source.
  • Quick and easy embed code: The simplest way to share this article on your webpage would be to embed the code below.

 

Please copy the above code and embed it onto your website to republish.
Q & A

Have your own question?


 

Related Categories