• University of Reading

A Beginner's Guide to Writing in English for University Study

Learn how to use English for study at university or college and develop your writing skills, vocabulary and grammar.

372,347 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    5 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

If you’re interested in studying at university or college in an English-speaking country, you’ll need to learn how to write using academic English. Academic writing can be very different from other types of English writing you may have done in the past. We have developed this course to help you learn the basics of academic writing and develop your English skills for study in the UK, US, Australia or other countries where English is used.

This course will provide you with a brief introduction to academic writing, enabling you to gain an awareness and understanding of some key features of this kind of writing. You’ll learn using a mix of video, on-screen examples, discussions, and quizzes.

You will develop some proficiency in a few key areas of ‘academic’ grammar, learn about the stages in essay writing, and produce an essay of your own. We will teach you how to organise an essay, use academic writing style and cover key areas of grammar, so that by the end of the course you are able to write a good, basic academic essay.

Throughout the course, we will analyse some examples of academic writing that have been produced by some of our former students, to show the improvements that can be made to an essay. These improvements are made by guiding and instructing the writer in the areas of content, organisation, language and the process of planning and drafting an essay.

We will provide you with the tools to evaluate your own writing and the writing of others, as well as clarifying some key language areas commonly used in academic writing.

What’s in the course?

This course will run over five weeks, which will cover:

  1. Features of academic writing
  2. Essay organisation
  3. Your first essay: language focus
  4. Your first essay: focus on the writing stages
  5. Your first essay: feedback and redrafting
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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.

Who is the course for?

This course is aimed at non-English speakers who have studied some English. You should have a minimum level of IELTS 4.5 or equivalent.

Who will you learn with?

I am the Director of the Academic English Programme at University of Reading, helping international students to achieve their full academic potential.

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

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