Textbook, highlighter and glasses
level of study Level 3, Master's and PhD level
time taken to complete Approximately 12 hours

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This course will help you to hone your academic writing skills and increase your awareness of academic conventions. You will learn techniques to improve your academic writing through practical exercises designed to help you apply what is learned to your own work.

This E-Learning course is also available as a taught course during term time. Find out more on the information page for the live version of the course.

Information: Modules that carry the AS- code are non-credit bearing modules. This means that successful completion of these modules by attending 80% of the course, will appear on your  Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR).


This is a self-study version of the Centre for Academic Success Academic Writing course. This course covers the same content as the Zoom and classroom based versions of the Academic Writing 2 course; however, there are no face-to-face sessions and the content is covered through videos, reading and tasks. This means you can complete the course in your own time. The course is made up of the following lessons:

LESSON ONE: Features of Academic Writing

This lesson considers some of the broad features of academic writing and explores how they can affect the way in which your writing is perceived. We also look at the concept of rhetorical moves and how they can be used in your introductions and conclusions.

LESSON TWO: Writing Good Paragraphs

This lesson focuses on how to write good paragraphs. A paragraph functions like a building block in your writing so it's important that each one is well-structured and sound.

LESSON THREE: Critical Writing and Synthesis

This lesson explores the importance of critical thinking and writing skills to your academic work. We will also discuss the ways in which the process of synthesis — how to build arguments and form conclusions by knitting together several ideas or sources — is key to critical writing. 

LESSON FOUR: Improving Style and Editing

The previous lessons focused on style and the flow of your writing, as well as analysis. This lesson will explore specific techniques within sentences that can be used to make your academic writing more precise and logical.