ILMATDN-Dissertation Writing for Applied Linguistics and TESOL

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

Module Convenor: Ms Sarah Mattin

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module focuses on the academic language and writing skills needed to perform more effectively at post-graduate level in Applied Linguistics and TESOL. It is primarily designed for students whose first language is not English.  The module focuses on Dissertation writing.

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 ILMATDN 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 MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL students whose first language is not English to study more effectively in the UK HE context and academic culture. It focuses on the key academic language and skills needed for Dissertation writing.

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

  • distinguish between what is expected, structurally and linguistically, in the different elements of a Dissertation , i.e. Introduction, Literature Review,  Methodology, Results, Discussion & Conclusion

  • use a variety of task-appropriate techniques to incorporate and comment on the views of others in their writing

  • employ task-appropriate language (grammar and lexis)

  • critically evaluate their own and others’ writing

  • communicate fluently and accurately within their discipline by building their subject-specific vocabulary and grammar

  • use open-source linguistics software and tools to analyse features of discipline-specific research writing and use these more accurately and fluently within their writing

Assessable learning outcomes:


Additional outcomes:


Outline content:

  • 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 describing research 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 ‘boosting’ and ‘hedging’ language for strengthening or weakening claims. 

  • Grammar for academic/professional communication, including verb tense and form, nominalisation, clause and sentence structure 

  • Using open-source corpus linguistics software and tools to analyse features of discipline-specific research writing 

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.

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

  • analysis of example texts from the target genre

  • guided ‘noticing’ of key organisational, argumentative and linguistic features in context

  • exercises practicing use of relevant lexical/grammatical items
  • scaffolded written-language tasks

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 12
Guided independent study: 0 0 0
Total hours by term 0 12 0
Total hours for module 12

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage

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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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