Useful Synonyms / Words Close in Meaning for Academic Writing

This is a post I will update whenever I have new material to add. It is a growing document intended as a “cheat sheet” for both myself as a developing academic writer and anyone else who might find it useful. I got the idea from the Oberlin College Writing Center, which used to provide handouts of such synonyms geared towards undergrads, with alternatives for words like “show,” “demonstrate,” “explain,” etc. I have attempted to recreate some of those lists here, while adding some that are primarily useful at the graduate level or beyond. Since my own research deals largely with Marxist political economy and cultural studies, the lists you find here will largely be geared towards the kinds of abstract concepts needed in those fields.

If you think of a word you would like to add, please feel free to comment on this post! I will update the post with your contribution when I can, and include your name (if you provide it) in a list of contributors at the end.

valorize (v.)

  • add to
  • amplify
  • augment
  • boost
  • build up
  • champion
  • compound
  • deepen
  • develop
  • elevate
  • enhance
  • enlarge
  • exacerbate
  • exaggerate
  • exalt
  • expand
  • extend
  • glorify
  • heighten
  • hoist up
  • hype
  • increase
  • inflate
  • intensify
  • magnify
  • raise
  • reinforce
  • strengthen
  • swell

mask (v./n.)

  • camouflage
  • cloak
  • conceal
  • deceive
  • disguise
  • dissemble
  • guise
  • hide
  • masquerade
  • mimic
  • muddy
  • obfuscate
  • obscure
  • pose
  • posture
  • pretend
  • shroud
  • simulate
  • smokescreen
  • suppress
  • veil
  • veneer

Additional Contributors: