ILMACMN-Academic Writing for Construction Management and Engineering

Module Provider: International Study and Language Institute
Number of credits: 0 [0 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Ms Emily Salvesen

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module focuses on the academic language and writing skills needed to more effectively manage coursework assignments on CME master’s programmes and is primarily designed for postgraduate students in Construction Management Engineering (CME) whose first language is not English. In autumn term, the focus is writing skills needed for the Reflective Portfolio. In summer term, the focus is on Dissertation writing skills. 

The module is non-credit-bearing and designed to support students’ disciplinary study, the expectation being that students will apply the skills they have learnt on ILMACMN in their credit-bearing work. Therefore, for the module itself there is no assessment or expectation of independent study hours.


This module aims to support MSc CME students whose first language is not English with their transition to the UK HE context and academic culture, focusing on the key academic language and skills needed to successfully complete master’s level CME writing tasks.

By the end of the module, students will be better able to:

  • recognise and respond to the expectations of the CME Reflective Portfolio assignment 

  • accurately interpret coursework assignment instructions/briefs and assessment criteria

  • employ task-appropriate organisational patterns at paragraph, section and whole-text level

  • use appropriate techniques to incorporate and comment on the views of others in a Reflective text

  • accurately apply the referencing conventions for their discipline

  • employ task-appropriate language (grammar and lexis)

  • critically evaluate their own and others’ writing

  • make distinctions between what is expected, structurally and linguistically, in the different elements of a Dissertation text, i.e. the Abstract, Introduction, Literature Review, Method, Results, Discussion & Conclusion

  • write a clear, focused and effective CME Dissertation text

Assessable learning outcomes:


Additional outcomes:


Outline content:

Classes will have the following foci:

  • Reflective Writing Skills:

    • the expectations of a Reflective Writing assignment, both in terms of the assignment brief and assessment criteria

    • four frameworks which can be applied in the writing of Reflective accounts

    • discussion within a Reflective text

    • linking theory to practice in Reflective texts

    • expressing feelings, attitudes and expectations within appropriately within a reflective text

    • grammar for reflective writing, including unreal conditionals (e.g. should have constructions), sequencing devices and verb tenses, clause and sentence structure, and reporting verbs 

  • Organisational patterns and key language for the following aspects of Dissertation writing:

    • writing the Introduction: establishing the relevance of your research focus, identifying your research niche, and outlining the purpose and structure of your thesis. 

    • reviewing the literature: comparing/contrasting and synthesising the ideas of other scholars; establishing your own stance within an ongoing academic debate; integral and non-integral citation – conventions and use; verb tense and sentence grammar for reporting sources. 

    • writing about methods: explaining and justifying methodological choices and describingresearch tools and processes; the passive voice and sequencing devices for describing procedures. 

    • writing about results: describing and analysing research findings.

    • discussion in a Dissertation: interpreting and evaluating results and engaging with the wider scholarly debates related to your research project; modality and ‘hedging’ and ‘boosting’ language for strengthening or weakening claims. 

    • writing your conclusion: identifying key research outcomes, and talking about implications, limitations, and potential future research.

    • writing the Abstract: succinctly and accurately summarising the key points of your dissertation text

Global context:

This module supports internationalisation at Reading by facilitating successful and equal inclusion of students whose first language is not English in UK degree programme study.  

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module will adopt an overall ‘genre’ approach, taking the social purpose of texts as the starting point to explicate organisation/structure and key discourse and language features.

It takes a discipline-specific approach to language and literacy development example student texts as well as published sources from CME in classroom tasks. 

Teaching will be learner-centred, taking a task-based approach to analysis of example texts from the target genres, guided ‘noticing’ of key organisational and linguistic features in context, and exercises practicing use of relevant lexical/grammatical items. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 16 15
Guided independent study: 0 0 0
Total hours by term 16 0 15
Total hours for module 31

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Formative assessment methods:


Penalties for late submission:


Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:


Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: 

2) Specialist equipment or materials: 

3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear: 

4) Printing and binding: 

5) Computers and devices with a particular specification: 

6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence: 

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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