Tips & Tricks

Back to School: Interactive Vocabulary Lists Made Quick and Easy

Did you know that with Vocabulary.com, it's quick and easy to make interactive Vocabulary Lists? You supply the words; we supply the definitions and example sentences. Or if you're pulling vocabulary out of a text, we'll take care of all three.

Watch this short video to see how it works. (If you're having trouble on YouTube, check it out on Vimeo here.) Or follow the step by step instructions below.

How to Create a Vocabulary List

1) Go to the Vocabulary List section of the website. You'll find a button, "Create New List." This brings you to the List Builder. 

2) Once you're in the List Builder, you'll see you have three choices for how to enter words into your list: "One at a time," "All at once," or "From text." Choose "All at once" if you have the words in electronic format and can just cut and paste them in. Choose "One at a time" to type them in manually. (We make this faster for you by guessing at the word as you type. We'll likely fill it in for you within a few letters.) For instructions on creating a list “From text” see below.

3) Once you've entered your words, click on the "Review" tab to edit the list. You'll see that we provide a definition for every word you enter. To change it, click "Choose Definition," and we'll show you some other options. To add an example sentence, select "Add example sentence" to write in your own, or "Browse Example Sentences" to look through the hundreds of examples we provide. 

4) Be sure to save your list as you go, give your list a name, and decide if you want it to be shared. Once you've completed it, you'll see tabs for learning your list, playing a spelling bee with it, or going back in to edit it anytime.

How to Create a Vocabulary List from Text

1) Locate an electronic version of the assigned text online – you'll find primary source documents for social studies such as the Bill of Rights or the Declaration of Independence, newspaper and magazine articles, reference materials, poetry, literature in the public domain, and more. To see if a piece you're looking for is out there, search the Internet for the word "etext" and the title and author of the piece you're looking for.

2) On the Vocabulary Lists section of the website, select “Create New List.” This brings you to the List Builder.

3) Once you're in the List Builder, you'll see you have three choices for how to enter words into your list: "One at a time," "All at once," or "From text." Choose "From text" and paste the text into the box — anything up to 100 pages is fine. As soon as you paste the text and click the "grab vocab" button, we'll generate a list of top vocabulary words that appear in that text, and you can choose which ones you want to add to your list. To select all of them, click the check box for a word at the top of the list, scroll to the bottom, hold down the shift key, and click the last word on the list.

4) Once you've saved the list, you'll see that example sentences from the text have been automatically selected. You can edit them, choose others ("Browse Example Sentences"), and change the definitions ("Choose Definition"). 

5) Be sure to save your list as you go, give your list a name, and decide if you want it to be shared. Once you've completed it, you'll see tabs for learning your list, playing a spelling bee with it, or going back in to edit it anytime.


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Comments from our users:

Friday August 17th 2012, 5:39 AM
Comment by: lawton M.
when you choose an answer, how do you get the verbal on pronunciation of it.
Saturday August 18th 2012, 5:45 PM
Comment by: Chrissy (KS)
This is great information.
Friday September 7th 2012, 11:04 AM
Comment by: Vocabulary.com (NY)Visual Thesaurus Moderator
Lawton: While you are playing the Challenge and you see a look up button, you can click it and the Vocabulary.com Dictionary page for that word will appear below the Challenge car on the page.

You'll also notice a round summary box that appears on the right of the question cards as you play. Click on any word in the round summary box and you'll be able to see that word's definition page below.

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