A student writing

Writing for academic purposes

Academic writing at university

In my country we don't have to focus on the title like in the UK; in my country it's necessary to write everything that we know on the topic - to show what we know. - Georgy

When you study at university in Britain you will need to produce written assignments. You can expect assignments to be set and marked by your tutors on a regular basis. These pieces of written work, often together with examinations, will be used to assess you on your course.

Producing academic written work in English can be demanding and will require careful management of your time. There may be differences from how you have done this before in your home country. You can prepare yourself better for writing academic assignments in English if you know what differences to expect.

This activity will help you to recognise any differences between the kind of academic writing that you may have produced before and the kind that you will be asked to produce at a British university. It will also give suggestions for how to prepare yourself for academic writing before you arrive in the UK.

ActivityAre you prepared for academic writing?

You are going to do a quiz to find out how much you know about academic writing at university in Britain. At the end of the quiz you can check your score.

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Study these statements about academic writing and decide if you think they are true or false. Select the 'True' or the 'False' button for each of the eight statements before reading the feedback. When you have finished, calculate your score and read the feedback to find out how much you know about academic writing at university in Britain.

1. Assignment questions and titles are usually short and focus on one idea which needs to be explored.

2. The length of your written assignments may be 2000 or even 5000 words.

3. Planning and organising your writing are less important than the expression of ideas.

4. Plagiarism simply means copying another student's work and calling it your own.

5. Assignments set by tutors may require different kinds of academic writing.

6. Only a good vocabulary is important in producing a formal academic style in your written work.

7. Constructing an argument for an essay involves linking together ideas that you have read in books and other source material.

8. You may have to write several drafts before a writing assignment is ready to submit.

How well-prepared are you for academic writing assignments? When you have finished, click the 'calculate your score' button to find how many correct answers you have and then look at your score below to find out what your score shows.


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