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Academic Writing in English for ESL Learners

Develop your academic writing skills in English as a second language (ESL) learner and advance your English writing at university.

11,681 enrolled on this course

Young woman in university class, thinking and writing

Academic Writing in English for ESL Learners

11,681 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Improve your academic writing skills for essay writing in English

This course will equip you with the skills to write good persuasive essays in English at university level, as well as improve your critical thinking skills, argument reasoning, and use of external sources for writing in English.

Develop your academic essay writing skills to succeed at an English-speaking university

For many ESL students around the world, it can be challenging to meet the high standard expected for academic writing in English.

As writing is an essential skill in all disciplines and one of the main methods of assessments at university, these challenges can negatively impact student learning progress.

Learn how to write an essay in English using evidence and critical analysis

On this course, you’ll learn the requirements for good academic writing in English.

You’ll have the chance to improve your English writing skills through practice and develop your knowledge of argumentative essay structure and composition.

You’ll also discover how to write critically and analytically using evidence, argument reasoning, analysis and evaluation.

Build your skills in referencing and formatting for academic writing in English

As you improve and evaluate your own work as well as the work of others, you’ll learn how to use external evidence in your English essay writing and how to search for primary and secondary resources.

The final steps of the course will teach you how to format academic essays in English correctly and present your document.

Get ESL training with academic writing experts at UCL

The course is created and led with insights from the UCL Knowledge Lab and the UCL Arena Centre.

As an ESL learner, you’ll learn in an open and collaborative environment where you’ll be supported to share your experiences and resources.

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What topics will you cover?

Week 1: The nature of academic writing and argumentative essays

  • The nature of academic writing to university students.
  • Essay structure.
  • Composition skills.

Week 2: Critical thinking and usage of evidence

  • Argument reasoning, analysis and evaluation.
  • Supporting evidence.
  • Critical reflection.

Week 3: Using external resources

  • Searching for evidence: primary and secondary resources.
  • Documentation and formatting.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the main components of writing and their conventions
  • Identify the nature of writing argumentative essays and their conventions
  • Demonstrate the ability to write critically and analytically
  • Evaluate one's own work and the work of others
  • Explore a diversity of students’ backgrounds and look at how they enhance the writing experience and encourage writing practice

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for English as a second language learners and English as a foreign language learners studying in English at higher education institutions around the world.

It will also be useful for learners of English who wish to improve their academic writing skills.

Who will you learn with?

I am a Principal Research Fellow in Online Learning Pedagogies and Future Education at UCL Knowledge Lab, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, and lead the MA in Education and Technology.

I'm director of UCL's Arena Centre which is responsible for a range of education enhancement activities across UCL. I started out as a physicist but moved into education gradually over many years.

Doctoral researcher in second language learning and digital education - University College London

Lecturer - King Saud University

Who developed the course?

UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. It was the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, and the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it.

Ways to learn

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$89/one-off payment


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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$89/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 13 Jul 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

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