Academic English

To develop your language skills for your academic tasks (reading, writing, listening, speaking, vocabulary and grammar) please visit the other get online help pages.


  • Your tutors are here to guide your work, but you need to do the work.
  • Most of your study time is NOT in lectures and tutorials: it’s private study, alone.
  • You need to make a study plan for this private time.
  • You need to work every week if you want to pass your assignments, not just for a few days.
  • You’re learning how to do new things, so you need help: this is normal.
  • You will do better if you ask for help. Our job is to help you. 

About lecture topics

  • There is usually a new reading and discussion topic every week.
  • The lecture is an introduction to the new topic.
  • Find and read a very short, basic introduction to the topic. Use it to learn key ideas and vocabulary.
  • Print the Powerpoint before the lecture. Write your notes, translations and questions on it.
  • Take the Powerpoint to the lecture or online lesson. Write more notes and your questions on it.
  • Use the reading list, plus tutorials and seminars, to understand more about the topic.
  • Do all this before you try to do the assignment. 


How and when to prepare your assignment

Week 1

Understand the question and how your assignment must be submitted.

Plan your work for the assignment (like this).

Find sources about the assignment topic.


Weeks 2-3

Make notes (about things which will help for this assignment).

Think about what extra sources you need. Get them as soon as possible.


Weeks 4-5

Read and make notes from the extra sources you have found.


Weeks 7-8

Plan your answer (use notes from your reading and classes). Do more reading if necessary.

Write a draft answer and get feedback on it.

Make sure you understand the feedback.


Week 9

Use it to write a new, better draft.


Week 10

Check and edit draft two.

Submit your assignment to your tutor.


If you have computer/IT problems you can ask for help and learn how to use the university's IT systems and software at


Study skills: resources and useful links:


  • The Assignment Survival Guide from Staffordshire University helps you plan your work.
  • Andy Gillet's UEFAP website is a highly respected Academic English website.
  • Study Guides on Essays,  from Reading University provides information on planning your time, essay-planning, reflective learning and many other areas.
  • Uni Learning at Woollongong University in Australia, helps you develop academic reading and writing skills.
  • The University library has a wide range of resources and many are available online. You can borrow some excellent short books about how to study from the library.
  • Learn how to avoid plagiarism here.
  • You can find free online lectures in specific subjects at Academic Earth
  • RefMe is an excellent referencing website.
  • Read articles on Google Scholar.
  • There is information on various skills at EAP Foundation and EAP Online Resources.   
  • You can find links to further resources at Averil Bolster and Peter Levrai's website, Develop EAP (scroll down to 'Websites to develop our Academic English Skills')
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