“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”—Mark Twain

Vocabulary is assigned and practiced on http://www.vocabulary.com. Click here to join my American Canon, American Canon Honors, or College Prep 10 class. Make the account’s password “student” and share the email address used with me here. Once you have set up an account, click on the links below to add their word lists to your account.

Pro Tips

  • To complete a list for homework, click on the link, click “Learn this list”, and then click “Practice”.
  • Tired of answering questions about words you’ve already mastered? Make your own list (call it “Unmastered”) and add only the unmastered words. When you practice that list, you will only work on unmastered words. Mastery will transfer to my assigned homework list.


Patrick Henry, Liberty or Death (or a PDF printout)

Thomas Paine, The Crisis (or a PDF printout)

Abigail Adams, Remember the Ladies (or a PDF printout)

George Washington, Farewell Address (or a PDF printout)

Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address (or a PDF printout)

Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural (or a PDF printout)

Frederick Douglass, What to the Slave is July Fourth?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I Have A Dream


College-level words beginning with:

A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J & K & L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W & X & Y & Z

Roots & Affixes

Here’s an introduction to roots & affixes, suffixes, and an exercise to immediately apply the skill


ex- (out, up); pro- (go forth, put forth); fore- (before); inter- (between); trans- (across, beyond); para- (beside, near); anti- (against); con- (together); mis- (hatred, incorrectly); pre- (before); sub- (below, under); super- (above, over); omni- (all); ambi- (both); uni- (having only one); bi- (two); re- (again); un-, dis-, in-, im-, il-, non- (not)


-fy (to make into); -ment (action, result); -ology (study of, science of)


annus (year), ante (before), aqua (water), bios (life), bi (two), centrum (hundred), dico / dicum (say / thing said), magnus (great or large)mort & necr (death, dead); strustruct (to make up, build); terr (earth); via & vio (road, way)