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10 Words Every College Student Should Know

Updated on June 2, 2022Students
10 Words Every College Student Should Know 1. Corroborate 2. Disparate 3. Extrapolate 4. Laconic 5. Pedantic 6. Pragmatic 7. Quintessential 8. Salient 9. Spurious 10. Syntax

The years we spend at college and university are exciting and filled with intense learning. One of the most significant areas of development is in vocabulary—communicating with career academics and reading thousands of pages of research-grade writing means that university may be the first time you ever see certain words! Here are ten words that every student should learn and master.


To corroborate is to confirm or make more certain. Now you know why lawyers on courtroom shows are always calling corroborating witnesses to the stand!


Disparate things are distinctly dissimilar.


Extrapolate means to infer something from the information that you have. In a math class, a professor might extrapolate the value of a variable or function.


Laconic is an adjective that describes the quality of relating much in few words.


Pedantic teachers are overly concerned with small details or formalism. Outside of teaching, it can refer to anyone who is ostentatious about their own knowledge.


The term pragmatic has several definitions that relate to considering the practical aspects of matters. A philosophical movement, pragmatism, uses the practical consequences of a belief as the basis for determining truth and value.


Quintessential is an adjective that describes a perfect embodiment or pure essence of something. If you provide a quintessential example of a concept for a thesis, you are giving the example that best embodies the concept.


Salient characteristics are prominent or conspicuous. In a geography course, you may use salient to describe an outward projection, such as a spur projecting from the side of a mountain.


Spurious things are not genuine or authentic. In biology, the term is used to describe things that have similar appearances but different structures.


Syntax, in general, means a system or orderly arrangement. For example, in linguistics, syntax refers to the rules that organize sentences.

Confusing words surround college students every day. By taking the time to master these ten words, students enrich their vocabulary and ease the tension that they would normally experience upon encountering them. A great way to practice new vocabulary words is to use them in a sentence. Can you write a sentence for each of these ten terms?

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