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Reading & Writing: Academic Writing

Academic Phrasebank

This resource from Manchester University draws on an approach to analysing academic texts originally pioneered by John Swales in the 1980s. It aims to provide you with examples of some of the phraseological ‘nuts and bolts’ of writing organised according to the main sections of a research paper or dissertation

Assignment planning tool

Assignment Survival Kit from University of Kent

A tool to help you plan backwards from your hand-in deadline

Learn Higher Guide to Academic Writing

A series of activities from Learn Higher desgned to help you improve your academic writing skills.

Academic Writing: Recognising, Planning and Developing

Based on the work of expert Stella Cottrell, international bestselling author of The Study Skills Handbook, this interactive resource will help you hone and develop your study skills at your own pace. Each module has been carefully designed so you can assess your current proficiency, track your progress, become more confident and get the most out of your course.

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Sage Research Methods

SAGE Research Methods includes more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, datasets, case studies and instructional videos by world-leading academics from across the social sciences. The site is designed to guide users to the content they need to learn a little or a lot about their method. The Methods Map can help those less familiar with research methods to find the best technique to use in their research.

Essay / Assignment Planning Workshop Recordings

Go to our Study Skills Workshops: Essay Planning page to access the following bite-sized video recordings with activities:

  • Part One: Understanding & deconstructing and essay question
  • Part Two: Strategies and techniques
  • Part Three: Structure and writing
  • Part Four: Drafting, editing and proofreading

Academic Writing Style Workshop

Taught by Paul Barnes (English For Academic Purposes Lecturer, BU).

Academic Writing (10 Days of Learning)

Taught by Dr Camila Devis-Rosental (Senior Lecturer in Service Excellence, BU) as part of the 10 Days of Learning workshop series.

Proof Reading and Editing your work

Library & Learning Support does not offer a proof-reading or checking service and so is unable to make corrections to your work or carry out editing on your behalf.

Paul Barnes can support students who do not have English as their first language. He is unable to proof read your work but is happy to read a short extract and comment on your grammar and spelling. He can be contacted by emailing

You may be interested in the following online resources which include tips and advice on how to draft, edit and proof-read your own work -

Linking Words and Phrases

A Guide to useful phrases to link ideas within a piece of written work. Produced by Anglia Ruskin University

Understanding plagiarism

Understanding plagiarism (Click on Institutional Login)

If you are experiencing difficulties and need to develop your academic writing skills (e.g. you have not written an essay before, or you need to better understand paraphrasing and quoting) we strongly recommend you work through this skills for study module because it covers the following:

  • Understanding plagiarism
  • Quoting without plagiarising
  • Choosing how much to quote
  • Using or plagiarising? (includes paraphrasing)
  • Ways of using other writers' text (includes paraphrasing)
  • FAQs e.g. "I don't want to copy work, but other people express things so well. What can I do?" and "How can I copy words without it being plagiarised?"

Useful books