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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.

455 enrolled on this course

Academic Writing in English for ESL Learners
  • Duration3 weeks
  • Weekly study3 hours
  • 100% onlineTry this course for free
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $59Find out more

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 learn at your own pace. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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?

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

Lecturer - King Saud University

I am a Senior Research Fellow in Online Learning Pedagogies and Future Education at UCL Knowledge Lab, UCL Institute of Education.

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.

Join this course

Start this couse for free, upgrade for extra benefits, or buy Unlimited to access this course and hundreds of other short courses for a year.



Join free and you will get:

  • Access to this course for 5 weeks



Upgrade this course and you will get:

  • Access to this course for as long as it’s on FutureLearn
  • A print and digital Certificate of Achievement once you’re eligible


$279.99 for one year

Buy Unlimited and you will get:

  • Access to this course, and hundreds of other FutureLearn short courses and tests for a year
  • A printable digital Certificate of Achievement on all short courses once you’re eligible
  • The freedom to keep access to any course you've achieved a digital Certificate of Achievement on, for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn
  • The flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year

Find out more about upgrades or Unlimited.