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Academic writing is a key aspect of being a student, but a challenging skill to develop. There are a number of useful books on writing in the Global Study Lounge, with chapters which deal with a range of aspects of writing e.g. planning and brainstorming, identifying an audience, developing a thesis statement, and supporting your ideas with evidence.

University of Reading staff have also developed an excellent introductory on-line course on basic academic writing:
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. The course is free and runs once or twice a year, but you do need to register. Please note that the course may not be active at the time of your access, but if you sign up now, you will get a notification when it is starting.

Below is a list of other on-line resources which will also help you with various aspects of your writing.

Useful links for writing

An overview of the academic essay writing process

  • This set of resources provided by the University of Manchester Library will take you through the essay writing process and help you produce a well-structured, coherent piece of work.
  • This section of the UefAP study guide provides advice on all the different stages of academic writing. Use the menu on the left to navigate the page.

Researching and preparing for academic assignments

Academic Phrases and functions

  • Academic Phrase-bank is a general resource for academic writers with useful phrases for various academic functions (e.g. being critical, describing examples, defining terms).

Critically evaluating sources

  • An essential aspect of academic writing is the ability to critically evaluate information available online; UC Berkeley provides some excellent guidance on that skill. There is information about referencing there too.

Describing data

  • Describing data is an important aspect of academic writing. The Hong Kong Polytechnic exercises gives access to an exercise which gives you practice in using appropriate language to describe trends.


  • Plagiarism is something many students are worried about; this link has lots of information to help you avoid it.


See Also

Visit the International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) website for information on EAP courses.

Things to do now

Think of an aspect of writing you need to improve and search the Global Study Lounge catalogue to find a relevant resource.