Academic vocabulary

Improve your academic vocabulary. Which of the following words are safe to use for your IELTS writing task 2 essay? The meaning for each word is given in brackets

  • Dissonance (discord / difference of opinion)
  • Gist (general idea / essence)
  • Latent (concealed / hidden)
  • Quack (fake / swindler)
  • Falter (hesitate)
  • Partially (not completely / to a degree)
  • Prattle (chatter)
  • Orate (make a speech)
There is only one word which cannot be used in an academic piece of writing and that is the word “quack”. This is slang and is inappropriate to use in formal writing. However, although the other words are acceptable to use, the word “prattle” is unlikely to be used but of course it does depend on the topic of the essay . Furthermore, the word “gist” can be used in formal writing, for example ” the gist of the argument was …” but be careful of other ways of using this word.


  1. HI Liz,

    words mentioned in academic vocabulary can I use them in General training IELTS writing task 2 ? Because I am going to take GT test.

    Thank you.

  2. Avinash Yadav says

    I am Avinash from India. I have some issues with writing task 2. Last time I got 5.5 bands in writing. Can you please help mine in improving this skill.

  3. sanjeewanie says

    Dear Mam,
    Can I know whether we can use idioms, quotes or saying in task 2?

  4. Hi Liz
    I am from Iran nowadays in our country we are not able to use online international payment on the other hand I really need native speaker to evaluate my writing score
    please help me

  5. diwash parajuli says

    hey liz i am from Nepal.
    and my test is in jan 7.
    i got many benefits from you thanks.


    I am Mostafizur from Bangladesh, requesting advice to save my time in reading test when I am going to sit for IELTS.

  7. Hi Liz,
    I found your website is very useful and your doing a great job.
    I am from Bangalore India, I have appeared for IELTS 5 times but I did not cross 6.5 I am feeling weak in speaking and writing. My target band score is 7 in individual module. Could you suggest me the tips.


  8. Hi Liz,
    How are you doing?! I hope you are enjoying your holiday. I have an question for you. What about the AWL ?! Do you think it’s useful ? If so ! How can I get started?!

  9. How could i improve my listening and speaking ? could you plz help me ?

  10. Hello liz
    I want to ask you about the IELTS EXAM
    my native language is Arabic . and i attended to study in the UK, as you know the minimum
    requirement is 6.5 , in my opinion it is not a hard mission .
    what can you advice me ? how to achieve that band or more?
    your website here is very great and useful , but as Arabian , any special recommendations ?

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