Academic writing for reports

This post was originally added to Learnhigher on: 15th Jan, 2012
Activity time: 25 Minutes
Types of media: Handout/s, PDF file
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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.
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0

(This resource can be freely repurposed and reused)

Academic Writing, Report Writing

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About the Activity

This activity is designed to help student identify the appropriate level and style of academic writing for reports. It also gives students practice in rewriting and correcting poor examples into a more appropriate style.

This activity consists of extracts from reports which demonstrate common errors in academic writing. Students have to identify the errors and rewrite the passages so they are more appropriate for an academic report.

Activity Type

An individual activity, as each person will have a different idea of how to rewrite the passages. Or it could be discussed in small groups without necessarily having to produce a rewritten version.


15 minutes to read the extracts and edit them
10 minutes to feed back and discuss as a whole class

Suggested use

This can be used as an activity in a workshop on effective report writing or in a workshop on academic writing (especially in science subjects). It could also be used as an activity after feedback on an assignment to highlight common writing errors shared by the class.

Subject lecturers can adapt the examples on the handout to use report extracts from their own disciplines, and to highlight the writing features they wish to focus upon.

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