• 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.

373,125 enrolled on this course

Educators are currently active on this course

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

373,125 enrolled on this course

  • 5 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Intermediate level

Find out more about how to join this course

Learn how to write using academic English in preparation for university study.

Academic writing can be very different from other types of written English. This course has been developed to help you learn the basics of academic writing and develop your English language skills.

You’ll develop some proficiency in key areas of ‘academic’ grammar, learn about the stages in essay writing, and produce an essay of your own. You’ll also explore how to organise an essay, write in an academic style, and use tools to evaluate your own writing and other learners’ writing, so that by the end of the course you’re able to write a good, basic academic essay.

Download video: standard

What topics will you cover?

Week 1

  • Key features of academic writing
  • Developing essay ideas
  • Organising your ideas effectively

Week 2

  • Essay structure and organisation
  • Choosing a title
  • Writing in an impersonal style

Week 3

  • Using academic language
  • Writing about facts and activities
  • Writing about groups of people
  • Writing longer sentences: linking words and subordinators

Week four

  • The stages of writing an essay
  • Analysing an essay title
  • Deciding what evidence to use
  • Writing a first draft of an essay

Week 5

  • Evaluating a first draft of an essay
  • Reflecting on feedback on your first draft of the essay
  • Responding to feedback on your first draft of the essay

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

If you'd like to take part while our educators are leading the course, they'll be joining the discussions, in the comments, between these dates:

  • 8 Apr 2024 - 16 Jun 2024

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...

  • Compare one aspect of life now with life in the past in one well-constructed paragraph
  • Explore organisational structure of essays: identify and name the different sections of an essay
  • Explain one aspect of your home town in one well-constructed paragraph, focussing on language accuracy
  • Develop and write the first draft of your essay
  • Contribute and receive feedback on first essay drafts
  • Reflect on feedback received and improve your draft to create and submit a second draft of your essay

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for non-English speakers interested in improving their academic writing skills. It is recommended that you have a minimum level of IELTS 4.5 or equivalent to get the most out of this course.

Who will you learn with?

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.

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe & save

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$134/one-off payment

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Free

Fulfill your current learning needDevelop skills to further your careerSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 29 May 2024

Access to 1,000+ coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

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

Buy this course

$134/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

Limited access

Free

Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 29 May 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

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #FLeng4study to talk about this course on social media.