Advanced Vocabulary - Work and Study
Work and study
Cramming for success: study and academic work
Study and exams
Before an exam, some students cram1
for it. Even if you"re a genius2, you"ll
have to do some revision. If the exam
happens every year, you can revise by
looking at past papers3. Some things
can be memorised or learnt (off ) by
heart. But rote-learning4 is not sufficient
for most subjects. It is also possible to
use mnemonics5. However, all things
considered, the best idea is to bury
yourself in your books6 and to study
intensively7 until you know the subject
study in a very concentrated way
for a short time
an exceptionally clever person
exam papers from previous years
learning purely by repetition
/niˈmɒnɪks/ tricks that help
you remember something, for
example: "i" before "e" except after
"c" is a mnemonic for English
spelling (e.g. friend, but receive)
spend the maximum time
in a very focused way
know it completely
composition could be just 50–100 words, often used for school work
essay longer than a composition, more serious, hundreds or thousands of words
assignment a long essay, often part of a course, usually thousands of words
project like an assignment, but emphasis on student's own material and topic
portfolio a collection of individual pieces of work; may include drawings and other examples of
creative work as well as writing
dissertation a long, research-based work, perhaps 10–15,000 words, for a degree or diploma
thesis a very long, original, research-based work, perhaps 80–100,000 words, for a higher degree (e.g. PhD)
It's a good idea to start with a mind map1 when preparing an essay. Always write a first draft2
before writing up the final version. Your essay should be all your own work; plagiarism3 is a very
serious offence in colleges and universities. It is an increasing problem because it is so easy to cut
and paste from materials available on the internet, and students have to sign a plagiarism form
to say that the work they are handing in is all their own and that they acknowledge4 any sources
they have used. There is usually a deadline5. After the essay is submitted6, it will be assessed7
and usually you can get feedback8.
diagram that lays out ideas for a topic and how they are connected to one another 2 first, rough version
/pledərzəm/ using other people's work as if it was yours 4 give details of 5 date by which you must hand
in the work 6 handed in; formal 7 evaluated and given a grade 8 comments from the teacher/tutor
Aspects of higher academic study
less formal is do research
magazines with academic
articles (we do not use
the word magazine to talk
about this kind of academic
get hold of (it) on the internet
system where libraries
exchange books/journals with
University academics carry out research and are expected to read academic
journals2, which publish papers/articles on specialised subjects. If a library
does not have a copy of a book or journal, you may be able to access it online3
or you can usually get it through an inter-library loan4. Open educational
resources5 are particularly convenient for many students. Academic study can
be very demanding, and some students drop out6, but the majority survive till
finals7 and become well-qualified8 members of their future professions.
online materials that can be freely used by teachers and students anywhere 6 leave the course before the
end 7 last exams before the end of a college or university course 8 with the right formal qualifications
Correct the wrong usage of words to do with written work in these sentences.
1 His PhD assignment was 90,000 words long and was on the history of US place names.
2 Little Martha did her first dissertation in school today. It was called "My family".
3 We have to hand in an essay at the end of the course. It can consist of up to five different
pieces of work.
4 The teacher gave us the title of this week's project today. We have to write 1,000 words on the
topic of "If I ruled the world" and hand it in next Monday.
5 At the end of this course, you have to do a 5,000-word thesis which will be assessed, and the
grade will contribute to your final degree.
6 I think I"ll do a study of people's personal banking habits for my MSc composition. It has to be
about 12,000 words.
7 I"ve chosen to do the portfolio instead of the two exams, because I like to do one single piece of
work where I can research something that interests me personally.
Rewrite this text using words and phrases FO instead of the
When I"m studying in a very focused way because I"m preparing
hard for an exam, I don't see any point in looking up exam papers
from previous years, nor is there any point in just learning things by
memory. I know some people develop very clever memory tricks
to help them remember the material, but there's no real substitute
for rereading and going over the term's work. It's a good idea to
have some sort of diagram showing different ideas to organise your
thoughts, and memory-learning is useful, but in a limited way. At the
end of the day, you just have to read a huge amount until you feel
you know the subject 100%.
Answer these questions.
- What do we call the first attempt at writing something, e.g. an essay?
- What word means "the date by which you must do something"?
- What word means "using someone else's ideas as if they were yours"?
- What are more formal words for "to hand in" and for "to mark"?
- What phrasal verb do we use when someone doesn't complete their course?
- What is another word for an academic article? Where can you read them?
- What is the name of the system for getting books from other libraries?
- What word means "the comments you get back from the teacher about your work"?
- What word can you use for a person who is extraordinarily intelligent?
- What is a more formal way of saying "do research"?
Choose the best word FO to complete these sentences.
1 If you quote an article in an essay, you must
your source, giving details of author
2 Open educational
can be particularly useful for students who do not have easy
access to a university library.
3 How much
have you done for tomorrow's maths exam?
4 Don't forget to sign the
form and hand it in with your dissertation.
5 Some people take a long time to find suitable work even though they are very
6 Orla has had a
published in the British Medical Journal.
7 All students need a username and password to be able to
8 Caspar is bound to do well in his mechanics exam – he knows the subject