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AWL highlighter & gapfill Find academic words in a text

Use this tool to highlight words from the AWL (Academic Word List). Enter the text in the box below then click 'submit'. If you want to use the gapfill maker (below), you will need to input and highlight the text first. You may also like to try the AWL tag cloud, which is a companion to this page. For a more detailed look, including number of words and percentages, try the Vocabulary Profiler.

For more on AWL highlighters, check out the YouTube video ».

Select max number of characters (if processing speed is slow, choose a lower number)


The highlighted text will appear here.

Sorted word list (by sublist) will appear below.

Wordlists Sorted by sublist

Gapfill maker Choose your flavour

Create a gapfill for the above text. Choose from these different types:

  • a simple gap fill, with blanks only (you will need the words above to complete it)

  • a head word gapfill, in which each of the academic words will be replaced by the head word (or by another word form if the replaced word is itself a headword)

  • a word family gapfill, in which each of the academic words will be replaced by another word from the same word family

Gapfill will appear here.


Like the website? Try the books. This extract from Unlock the Academic Wordlist: Sublists 1-3 contains all sublist 1 words, plus exercises, answers and more!



Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 20 March 2024.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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