• University of Reading

An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study

Improve your academic English skills further, learning about critical analysis, using sources, avoiding plagiarism and more.

85,838 enrolled on this course

Students reviewing academic writing for university study
  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Develop the English skills required for extended writing projects and essays.

On this course you will expand your academic English skills and learn the necessary extended writing and research skills for producing a thorough and high standard extended essay.

You’ll get an introduction to research tools, writing critically and referencing, as well as learning more about the fundamentals like essay structure, proofreading and avoiding plagiarism.

Whether you’re a prospective undergraduate or postgraduate, or are currently undertaking university-level study - this course will build on your ability to research, write and reference essays and extended writing projects.

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What topics will you cover?

Week one:

  • Differentiating between academic writing and other types of writing
  • Choosing the correct structure for an academic essay
  • Analysing essay questions
  • Activating what you already know about the topic

Week two:

  • Searching for information as a starting point to build your knowledge
  • Evaluating resources and reading academic texts
  • Annotating and surveying information from source texts

Week three:

  • Components of a paragraph and the notion of paragraph leader
  • Paragraph development and writing a paragraph

Week four:

  • Understanding how to use facts, statistics and research in your writing
  • Showing critical thinking through choice of citation type
  • How to incorporate appropriate evidence
  • Avoiding plagiarism

Week five:

  • Writing a plan
  • Essay introductions and conclusions
  • Proof reading
  • Peer support in writing

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...

  • Assess the difference between academic writing and other types of writing
  • Identify the different features of an academic essay
  • Identify appropriate search systems to find reading texts relevant to your topic area
  • Apply critical reading skills to analyse and evaluate an academic text
  • Explain why most academic texts are organised into paragraphs
  • Produce a well-organised, coherent paragraph as part of an academic essay
  • Identify information from source materials and texts to include in your writing according to the appropriate academic conventions of referencing

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at anyone interested in undertaking academic study in English, but it may be of particular interest to international students. You will require an IELTS English level of 5.5 and above.

What software or tools do you need?


Who will you learn with?

I'm Associate Professor in Technology-enhanced Learning at the University of Reading. I also teach on pre-sessional courses in English language and study skills.

I’m an English for Academic Purposes lecturer & materials developer at the University of Reading. My research interest is different modes of thought & reasoning across different language & cultures.

Who developed the course?

University of Reading

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise.

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

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