ILMAECEN-Academic Writing for Economics (Postgraduate)

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

Module Convenor: Mr Daniel Devane

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module focuses on the academic language and writing skills needed to more effectively manage written coursework assignments, principally Essays, on Economics Postgraduate programmes of study.

It is primarily designed for Economics students whose first language is not English and who are studying Data and Decision Analysis (in Nanjing) [MSc], both at a distance in the Nanjing University of Information Science & Technology (NUIST) and at the University of Reading.

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 ILMAECEN in their credit-bearing work. Therefore, for the module itself, there is no assessment or expectation of extended independent study hours.


Assessable learning outcomes:

This module aims to support PGT Economics students with their transition to the UK HE context and academic culture. It focuses on the key academic language and skills needed to successfully complete Master’s level (Level 7) Economics written coursework assignments and exams, primarily in the Essay genre.

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

  1. Recognise and respond to the expectations of the key written coursework assignment genre in postgraduate Economics, the Essay.

  2. Accurately interpret coursework assignment instructions/briefs.

  3. Employ task-appropriate organisational patterns at paragraph, section and whole-text level.

  4. Use a variety of task-appropriate techniques to incorporate and comment on the views of others in their writing.

  5. Accurately apply the referencing conventions for their discipline.

  6. Employ task-appropriate language (grammar and lexis).

  7. Critically evaluate their own and others’ writing.

  8. Use of variety of techniques to appropriately incorporate their voice into their writing.

Additional outcomes:


Outline content:

Classes will have the following foci:

  1. The key written coursework assignment genre in Economics, the Essay, including:

    1. Expected structural & argumentation patterns and how these differ according to question type.

    2. Reading-to-write processes and the centrality of source use and synthesis to successful Economics Essay writing.

    3. How ‘voice’ and ‘stance’ are realised linguistically within Essay texts.

  2. Key skills for academic writing within Economics:

    1. Incorporating sources using paraphrasing, summarising and direct quotation.

    2. ‘Information flow’ in English-language texts.

    3. Employing linguistic features of textual cohesion to clearly signal relationships between parts of a text.

  3. Grammar for academic communication, including verb tense and form, nominalisation, and clause and sentence structure. 

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 using example student Economics texts and published Economics-specific sources in classroom tasks.

Teaching will be learner-centred, taking a task-based approach to:

  1. analysis of example texts from the target genres.

  2. guided ‘noticing’ of key organisational and linguistic features in context.

  3. exercises practicing use of relevant lexical/grammatical items.

  4. scaffolded reading-to-write exercises.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 8
Guided independent study: 0 0 0
Total hours by term 8 0 0
Total hours for module 8

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):

Last updated: 22 September 2022


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