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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Word practice



You can improve your use of academic words by doing this two-part activity.

Read each sentence and select the best word choice from each drop-down box.


Choose the best word in [brackets] from each choice. Answers will be given at the end of each question.

1. The results of the survey were [contrarily, somewhat] surprising, with more men than women reporting that they regularly shop on the Internet.

Answer: somewhat

2. The central office space has been designed to be flexible, [plus, thereby] eliminating the need for costly additional refurbishments.

Answer: thereby

3. In terms of reducing pollution, the most obvious benefit of this particular material is that if it is exposed to the air, it will [eventually, crucially] decompose.

Answer: eventually

4. This course will provide a [chart, foundation] in the theories and principles of systems, particularly in their application to complex problems.

Answer: foundation

5. This raises an interesting question – could the air that we breathe one day become a [topic, commodity] to be traded, like oil, on the world’s markets?

Answer: commodity

6. The [ideology, prospect] of being able to vaccinate against various forms of cancer has caused great excitement in the medical community.

Answer: prospect

7. Although this practice is [virtually, ultimately] unheard of in the West, it is common among many societies in Africa and the Middle East.

Answer: virtually

8. At times the rulings have appeared quite [graded, arbitrary], with judges frequently delivering different sentences for identical crimes.

Answer: arbitrary

9. Blogging is a relatively recent [paradigm, phenomenon], but one that has the potential to revolutionise the publishing industry.

Answer: phenomenon

10.Some activists argue that the donation of foreign [aid, mode] to countries with oppressive governments actually does more harm than good.

Answer: aid