A thesaurus helps you build a richer vocabulary and avoid using the same expressions over and again. However, a conventional thesaurus has the drawback that it includes synonyms that are unsuitable for university and research writing. Similarly, thesauruses included with computer word processors are often inadequate: for example, for insight the most common word processor suggests just around the corner.

The PhraseBook thesaurus, on the other hand, is specifically compiled for university and research writing, and contains both synonyms (words with a similar meaning) and antonyms (words with the opposite meaning). It has been designed to make it easy to find related words.

Key words have umbrella headings, for example:



work, paper, report, review, survey, thesis, dissertation, book, volume, monograph, collection of papers, research, analysis, inquiry, investigation, examination



principle, framework, system, model, scheme, idea, notion, concept, reasoning, hypothesis, proposition, assumption


Argue and argument

argue for, argue against, maintain, reason, point to, dispute, question, polemic, the case for or against, the grounds for, reasoning, premise


Find out

discover, determine, establish, learn, realize, identify, detect, locate, pinpoint, verify



show, demonstrate, confirm, establish, verify, is borne out by, corroborate, testify to, attest, proof of, evidence of or for, demonstration of, confirmation of, corroboration of, verification of, disprove, fail to demonstrate


Alternatives to get

Although get, got, gotten are very common in speech, in university and research writing you should generally use a word or phrase with a richer meaning, as forms with get are perceived as informal. A number of alternatives to get are listed below:


Form with get Formal alternatives
get receive, obtain
reach, arrive
cause to, induce
understand, comprehend
get across convey, communicate, make clear
get ahead advance, progress
get along be compatible
manage, fare
get at reach, gain access to
imply, suggest
influence, corrupt, damage
get away escape, flee, leave
get away with escape blame or penalty
get back return
recoup, recover, regain
get back at avenge, retaliate
get back to contact again
get by manage, cope, fare, survive
get down depress
write down, take notes
get down to concentrate on, focus on
get even avenge, retaliate
get in insert, enter
get into become enthusiastically involved in, affect
get off remove, detach
escape, be acquitted
get on fare, manage
advance, progress, succeed, continue
be compatible
get onto contact
get out leave, escape, evacuate, withdraw
get out of avoid, evade, escape
benefit from
get over cross, pass
recover, overcome
convey, communicate
get round or around circumvent, avoid, bypass
persuade, coax, win over
get round or around to deal with eventually
get the hang of understand, learn
get through succeed, complete, overcome
pass (a law or examination)
use, consume, spend
communicate, convey, make clear
get to annoy
get together meet, gather, join, unite
get up stand, climb
get-up-and-go drive, ambition, energy
get your own back revenge, retaliate
gotta must
have got to must
have got have
haven’t got do not have
has it got…? does it have…?