The Basic Spelling Vocabulary List

Steve Graham, Karen R. Harris, Connie Loynachan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Four different vocabulary lists based on the study of children's writing were consulted to generate a basic spelling list. For each of the vocabulary lists, the words that accounted for 80% of the words children used in their writing were identified. Words that were theme specific, religious, outdated, or not commonly used by children until sixth grade or later were eliminated from the initial list. Most abbreviations were also removed. In addition, common reading words and several common spelling words that were not already on the list were added. These were obtained by consulting four empirically based lists of common reading words and one empirically based list of common spelling words. Each word was then assigned a grade placement based upon difficulty, pattern of occurrence in children's writing across grades, and grade placement on current vocabulary lists and spelling materials. The resulting spelling list of 850 words is presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-368
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Educational Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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