Cambridge Online Dictionary (English to English)
This dictionary provides in-depth explanations, key pronunciation and example sentences. At university level English learning it’s a good idea to use an English-to-English dictionary to check unknown words and improve your lexical repertoire (knowledge of words).
This dictionary provides a lot of information on word forms: noun, adjective and verb (analysis/analyses, analyst, analytical, analyse). It highlights plural forms and acknowledges if the word is in the AWL (Academic Word List). It also includes pronunciation sounds and common collocations (do/carry out/conduct analysis).
Thesaurus Synonym Search
The www.thesaurus.com is a versatile website that offers a good range of synonyms (similar words). It divides the lists into two key groups of dark orange for most frequent/associated to light orange not so frequent/associated. Below is an example of a search with the word ‘analysis’.
Ozdic.com is an excellent website that offers key collocations (words and phrases that go together). This collocation search will help fluency in writing and develop more academic formal vocabulary. Below is an example of a collocation search for ‘analysis’. It shows key adjectives and verbs used with analysis.
Manchester Phrase Bank
Manchester University has produced a comprehensive bank of academic phrases under a variety of topics: methods, results, defining, introductions, conclusions and more. Below is an example of the types of phrases a student can use. This is not considered plagiarism because these are common language phrases not ideas.
Grammarly: proofreading grammar checker
Grammarly is an online app that checks grammar and vocabulary. The basic checker is free but it has many premium features: Advanced Grammar Rules, Contextual Spell Checker, Vocabulary Enhancement and Plagiarism Detection. It is a great compliment to writing academic essays. You need to use online software such as word online or google docs for it to be active and as you write it highlights mistakes and offers corrections with explanations. Video
Cite this for me is a reference generating software that creates in-text references & reference lists / bibliographies. It includes all types of reference systems (Harvard, APA, MLA, Chicago, OSCOLA, IEEE, etc..) and all types of sources (books, websites, journals, reports, podcasts, etc…). Very easy to use and reasonably accurate. There are other alternatives but Cite this for me is very comprehensive.
Here is a range of academic search engines to access academic papers, journals and other scholarly sources. Many classic academic databases like Web of Science and Scopus are subscription sites only. However, Google Scholar and others can be accessed free of charge and although not all resources are free, there are many articles which are open source.
- Google Scholar
For more information go here: https://paperpile.com/g/academic-search-engines/
Academic Writing: Useful websites for writing
Here are some good websites we recommend to our students when writing essays or doing written work in class. These sites help with the key skills of paraphrasing and summarising. Webpage link TEACHER MEMBERSHIP / INSTITUTIONAL MEMBERSHIP
More digital resources and lessons