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Online course

Writing an Academic Essay: Learning English for Academic Purposes

Improve your academic reading, vocabulary and study skills and gain confidence in writing academic essays in English.

Writing an Academic Essay: Learning English for Academic Purposes

Improve your academic essay writing skills in English.

On this online course, you will learn useful reading and note-making strategies, then find out how to make effective and appropriate use of information and ideas from your readings in your essays. You will gain vocabulary learning skills and learn how to structure sentences, paragraphs and essays. In the final weeks, you will use these skills to submit an academic essay and receive detailed Educator feedback.

Throughout, you will read academic texts and learn vocabulary related to business and management, focusing on teamwork, leadership, organisational culture, marketing and globalisation.

What topics will you cover?

  • How to work collaboratively with others.
  • Reading academic texts.
  • Critical reading - what is it and how do you do it?
  • Different ways of making notes.
  • Good academic practice, including sourcing, quoting and paraphrasing techniques.
  • Develop an academic style.
  • Academic vocabulary, dictionary skills and how to use ‘cautious’ language.
  • Structuring texts, paragraphs and essays.
  • Summarising texts and writing concisely.
  • Including evidence and examples to support your ideas.
  • Create your own academic essay from what you’ve learned.
  • Get detailed feedback from an Educator on your academic essay.

When would you like to start?

What will you achieve?

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

  • Develop key skills when reading academic texts.
  • Apply the principles of critical reading to academic texts.
  • Demonstrate good academic practice including sourcing material, quoting and paraphrasing.
  • Summarise academic texts concisely and effectively.
  • Compare and contrast evidence and examples to support your ideas.
  • Identify and develop your own academic writing style.
  • Explore academic vocabulary and dictionary skills.
  • Investigate the meaning of 'cautious language' in academic essays and incorporate it into your own.
  • Explore the structure of texts, paragraphs and essays.
  • Demonstrate your learning by producing your own academic essay as your assignment.
  • Collaborate effectively with others to achieve a shared outcome.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for students who want to study in English at university. We recommend an existing English language level of IELTS 5.5.

Who developed the course?

The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, with a mission is to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.

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Why join this course?

Unlimited access

Join and get unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

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  • Progress through the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any time
  • Stop and start as much as you like

A Certificate of Achievement

Join and receive a digital and printed Certificate of Achievement, and transcript, when you complete your course.

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  • Demonstrate continued learning when applying to jobs or university courses
  • Review what you’ve learnt with a transcript detailing the course and your grades
  • Ensure your CV or Linkedin profile stands out

Is a Certificate of Achievement valuable?
Yes! Research from Parthenon and EY shows that 50% of employers consider short courses a differentiating factor when deciding between candidates with similar qualifications. Having a certificate to prove that you’ve completed a short course could help you stand out.