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Academic Writing

The following resources are designed to help you assess and develop your students' academic writing skills.

All our resources are available for free educational use under a Creative Commons licence. You are welcome to link to them, use them and adapt them if necessary for your students, but please acknowledge Learnhigher as authors.

ACADEMIC WRITING FOR EXAMS PODCAST

This resource features a podcast which focuses upon academic writing technique. The podcast particularly concerns lecturer feedback regarding the importance of focusing on the essay title given.

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ACADEMIC WRITING FOR REPORTS

A group editorial activity aimed at highlighting examples of bad practice in academic writing. Presents the opportunty to make selective changes in order to develop academic writing skills.

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APPROACHING THE QUESTION

This resource highlights the importance of fully considering an essay title and offers guidance on essay title interpretation. The resource suggests how identifying directive words, the topic area and limiting words may help students to organise and structure their essays effectively, and thus obtain higher grades.

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ASSIGNMENT PARAPHRASE

Based on the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) approach, this resource prompts students to consider the assignment question and discuss the ways in which they would answer it prior to beginning writing. A full understanding of the assignment title or question is crucial to obtain the best possible mark.

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CHECKING YOUR ASSIGMENTS’ REFERENCES

This resource highlights the importance of referencing to the overall assignment quality. The resource directs students to proof-read their work and identify correct use of referencing in the main body of the essay, as well as in the reference list itself.

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COMMAS

This resource identifies how attention to punctuation, particularly standard comma use, may improve coherence and grades. The main uses of commas are identified, such as listing, bracketing and joining. Explanations and examples are given for the context in which they are most commonly correctly utilised in academic work.

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ESSAY WRITING PACK

A downloadable workbook for students which can be tailored to different essay questions. The workbook structures enables the essay to be structured in an orderly way, allowing for the process to be learned as the assignment is completed.

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FREE WRITING

A resource which would be particularly useful for staff teaching on a creative writing programme. Includes two structured writing exercises and information on free writing.

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FREEWRITING

This resource encourages students to write on a given topic for a set amount of time. It is is designed to test information recall ability as well as help students improve their confidence in their writing ability.

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GETTING STARTED WITH WRITING

This resource includes ideas for initiating discussions about writing with students, and facilitates the opportunity to begin writing assignments during the activity.

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GRAMMAR BEAGLE

This post provides an interactive resource testing knowledge and application of grammatical issues commonly identified in students' work. This resource aims to help students improve their spelling and grammar.

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HOW TO START WRITING

An overview of some techniques to get started with writing after conducting research for an assignment. Includes information about planning, freewriting, structuring and writing paragraphs.
Includes a worksheet for students to download and keep for reference.

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HOW TO STRUCTURE A PARAGRAPH

This resource highlights the importance of clear and effective paragraphing to essay coherence. The resource explains the basic aims and structure of a paragraph, along with a checklist of features. Signposting words and phrases can be particularly useful for introducing theory, linking or concluding an essay.

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HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR WRITING

Highlighting the importance of structure to constructing clear and effective communication, this resource offers advice on improving structure and planning in academic writing. The resource offers techniques, particularly essay focus and basic structures, which may help to improve student work.

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IS A DISSERTATION JUST A LONGER REPORT?

This guide is designed to show you how to adapt your current report writing practices for doing a longer independent research project like a dissertation. If you are planning to do a dissertation project that involves some kind of primary data...

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PLANNING YOUR WORK

This resource highlights the importance of planning work, and how this may improve essay coherence and structure. According to personal preference, the resource offers the linear, cornell or mindmapping approach to planning as guidance for achieving higher grades.

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REVISION TECHNIQUES PODCAST

This resource, a podcast, offers advice on revision techniques and dealing with examination stress. This includes varying peer-to-peer tips, as well as lecturer guidance.

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THE THREE LINER

This resource provides an activity which aims to ensure students stay focused on the essay question. Students answer the essay question with a one-word answer, and then expand on this forming a basis for each paragraph, and so on.

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WHAT IS ACADEMIC WRITING?

This resource identifies the common key features of academic writing, such as formality, correct grammar and a logical structure, and how this may be different from other forms of writing.

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Popular Resources in Academic Writing

Here are some of our most popular resources within this category:

Is a dissertation just a longer report?

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Academic writing for reports

A group editorial activity aimed at highlighting examples of bad practice in academic writing. ...

Essay writing pack

A downloadable workbook for students which can be tailored to different essay questions. The...

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