Vocabulary Lists

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  1. And Both Were YoungMadeleine L'Engle
    In the aftermath of World War II, Philippa Hunter is sent to a Swiss boarding school, where she meets a boy suffering...
  2. UtopiaThomas More
    In this 16th-century book, More imagines an ideal state. More coined the word utopia, which literally means "nowhere."...
  3. The WreckersIain Lawrence
    A young sailor washes up on the shore of a remote island where the people pray for shipwrecks and scavenge the wreckage.
  4. Lupe Wong Won't DanceDonna Barba Higuera
    In order to get the chance to meet her favorite pitcher, Lupe Wong must get an A in gym class — which means conquering...
  5. Taking SidesGary Soto
    When Lincoln begins attending a new school, he must play basketball against his old teammates.
  6. DisplacementKiki Hughes
    In this graphic novel, which draws on the author's family history, a teenage girl is transported back in time to a World...

"The Hill We Climb," by Amanda Gorman

22-year-old Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in American history when she read her...
20 Words

"The Overcoat" by Nikolai Gogol

In this classic Russian short story, a low-level bureaucrat's life is upended when he attempts to...
35 Words

"St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves" by Karen Russell

In this short story, the narrator and other girls raised by wolves try to adapt to life in human...
45 Words

"The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin

In this story, a classics teacher at an elite prep school must interrogate his own ethics when he...
45 Words
  1. On LibertyJohn Stuart Mill
    In this influential essay, Mill examines the nature of liberty as it applies to the individual and society as a whole....
  2. Second Treatise of GovernmentJohn Locke
    In this 17th-century treatise, Locke argues that governments are only legitimate when leaders rule with the consent of...
  3. Killing LincolnThe Shocking Assassination that Changed America ForeverBill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
    This nonfiction account explores the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln and its aftermath.
  4. Harriet TubmanThe Moses of Her PeopleSarah Bradford
    This biography, published in the late 19th century, recounts the life of the famous conductor on the Underground...
  5. Enchanted AirTwo Cultures, Two WingsMargarita Engle
    In this memoir, poet Margarita Engle recounts her childhood in Cuba and the United States during the Cold War.
  6. Gone to the WoodsSurviving a Lost ChildhoodGary Paulsen
    In this memoir, Gary Paulsen explores his difficult childhood and details the experiences that led him to write the...

"The Origin of Species by Natural Selection" by Charles Darwin: Essential Words

Charles Darwin expounded his theories on evolution in "The Origin of Species by Natural Selection."...
13 Words

"Shooting an Elephant" by George Orwell

George Orwell reflects on imperialism as he recounts an incident that occurred when he was a police...
30 Words

"Mother Tongue" by Amy Tan

In this essay, novelist Amy traces her development as a writer by reflecting on the ways she and her...
20 Words

"Nature" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

This 19th-century transcendentalist essay argues that spending time in nature helps people resist...
30 Words

Essential Academic Vocabulary for Middle School Students, List 1

Whether you're hoping to improve your comprehension of reading assignments or simply looking to...
10 Words

Essential Academic Vocabulary for High School Students, List 1

Whether you're preparing for a standardized test, hoping to improve your comprehension of reading...
25 Words

ASVAB Word Knowledge

The Word Knowledge section of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a vocabulary...
100 Words

The SAT: Language of the Test, List 1

How can you perform well on the reading section of the SAT if you don’t fully understand the...
25 Words

The SAT: Words to Capture Tone, List 1

On the SAT, all of the Reading Test questions are multiple choice and are based on reading passages...
25 Words

The SAT: Multiple-Meaning Words, List 1

Context is king — that’s the lesson you need to internalize as you begin preparing for the...
25 Words

PARCC: Language of the Test (Grade7)

Before you can answer a question on the PARCC English Language Arts/Literacy section, you first need...
45 Words

In the Know: Cogn, Conn

Knowledge is power, so learn these words that derive from the Latin roots cogn and conn, meaning...
12 Words

Perfect Ten: Dec, Cent, Mille

These words derive from the Latin roots dec ("ten"), cent ("hundred"), and mille ("thousand"). Start...
14 Words

Power Suffix: -scope

Have a close look at this list of words that include the suffix -scope, meaning "an instrument for...
10 Words

English Words Derived from Arabic

All of the English words on this lists have Arabic origins. While some, like caliph and imam,...
22 Words

Power Suffix: -escence

Learn this list of words that include the suffix -escence, meaning the "process or state of being."
12 Words

Power Suffix: -acy

Derived from Latin, the English suffix -acy in English means "the state of" or "the quality or...
18 Words

More English Words Derived from Yiddish

English has borrowed many words from Yiddish, which is itself an amalgam of German, Russian, Hebrew...
15 Words

Body Parts: Neur ("Nerve")

You've got a lot of nerve — so learn this list of words that derive the Latin word neuron, meaning...
12 Words

The Treaty of Paris (1783)

The Treaty of Paris officially concluded the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain....
30 Words

Preamble to the U.S. Constitution (1787)

This introduction to the United States Constitution lays out the foundational principles of the...
15 Words

Declaration of the Rights of Woman (1791)

The full title of this declaration includes a focus on citizenship, and it was published two years...
35 Words

"The Declaration of Sentiments" (1848)

The Declaration of Sentiments was presented in July 1848 at the first Women's Rights Convention in...
30 Words

Marbury v. Madison (1803)

Shortly before the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, John Adams appointed many judges and justices....
40 Words

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954)

In 1951, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) recruited 13 parents...
35 Words

The Constitution of the United States

The Constitution is, quite simply, the basis of American democracy. The document details what the...
40 Words

The Federalist Papers, No. 70 by Alexander Hamilton

Published on March 18, 1788, this essay argues that the executive office should be led by a strong...
40 Words

President Biden's Inaugural Speech (January 2021)

On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United...
40 Words

"Ideas Live On" by Benazir Bhutto (2007)

In this speech, Bhutto, the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, argues for the importance of...
25 Words

Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" (1863)

At just 272 words long, Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address" is widely considered to be one of the...
14 Words

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "Beyond Vietnam" (1967)

In this speech, delivered at Riverside Church in New York City, King expresses his opposition to the...
45 Words

"What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?" by Frederick Douglass

In this powerful speech delivered on July 5, 1852, abolitionist Frederick Douglass argued that the...
50 Words

Sojourner Truth's "Ain't I A Woman?" (1863)

Sojourner Truth's speech at the 1851 Women's Rights Convention in Ohio asked a question that could...
20 Words

President Trump's Second State of the Union Address (2019)

President Trump delivered his second State of the Union Address on February 5, 2019. The President...
25 Words

Figurative Language in King's "I Have a Dream" Speech (1963)

Learn the vocabulary that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used to inspire a generation to break free...
30 Words

In the Mood? 100 Words to Describe Emotions

Creative writers, this one's for you! We've collected 100 words to describe how people feel. Improve...
100 Words

Star-Spangled Vocabulary: Patriotic Words

Love of country is a powerful motivating force, leading us to vote, advocate, protest peacefully,...
14 Words

The Lazy, Hazy Days of Summer

Summer is a season for fun activities, but set aside some time for just chilling, maybe with a book,...
13 Words

Languor Management: Synonyms for "Lazy"

From casually relaxed to downright lazy, these words describe various kinds of doing nothing. For...
15 Words

The Sweltering Words of Summer

Looking for a variety of words to choose from when complaining about how hot it is? You're in luck!...
13 Words

Wait, What? Confusing Compound Words

Most of these words are built from two common terms, and yet their meanings don't necessarily add up...
10 Words

Oh, My Stars! A Solstice Sampler

The Greek and Latin words for "sun" and "star" can be seen in many terms that we use today. In honor...
13 Words

Mellow Out: Synonyms for "Calm"

From a perfectly still pond to the most chill person you know, this list has words for relaxed...
15 Words

This Week in Words: Current Events Vocab for July 3–July 9, 2021

Stories about a hot dog eating contest, lifesaving trees, and tattooed mummies all contributed words...
20 Words

This Week in Words: Current Events Vocab for June 26–July 2, 2021

Stories about a 70-year-old batgirl, a small Statue of Liberty, and a new species of human all...
20 Words

July Words

Ah, July. In the northern hemisphere, it's the dog days of summer, while winter's in full swing in...
10 Words

This Week in Words: Current Events Vocab for June 19–June 25, 2021

Stories about a kidnapped lemur, amateur mushroom hunters, and a pistachio heist all contributed...
20 Words

This Week in Words: Current Events Vocab for June 12–June 18, 2021

Stories about a prize-winning Pekingese, pink snow, and a brand-new ocean all contributed words to...
18 Words

This Week in Words: Current Events Vocab for June 5–June 11, 2021

Stories about feral peacocks, a heroic rat, and a pizza vending machine all contributed words to...
16 Words

June Vocabulary Words

It's June! This is the month to celebrate Flag Day, Juneteenth, and Father's Day — and it's also the...
15 Words

This Week in Words: Current Events Vocab for May 29–June 4, 2021

Stories about Covid-sniffing dogs, a microscopic cleaning crew, and new images of our galaxy all...
18 Words

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