Academic English


  • 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. How?
  • 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.
  • Ask questions, especially in your weekly Academic English workshop.


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. 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

Plan your work for the assignment (like this)

Find sources about the assignment topic


Week 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


Week 4-5

Reading 2: Make notes from these extra sources


Week 7-8

Plan your answer (use notes from reading and classes). 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 & edit draft 2

Submit your assignment to your tutor



Study skills

  • The Assignment Survival Guide from Staffordshire University helps you plan your work.
  • Andy Gillet's UEFAP website Perhaps the most respected Academic English website
  • Study Guides on Essays, Reports, planning your time, essay-planning, reflective learning – and many others – from Reading University
  • Uni Learning This site, at Woollongong University in Australia, helps you develop academic reading and writing skills.
  • Ask your weekly Academic English workshop tutor. If you don’t have a weekly workshop, send us a message.
  • You can borrow some excellent, short, books about how to study from the library.


Help with academic language

  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Ask your weekly Academic English workshop tutor. If you don’t have a weekly workshop, send us a message.
  • Free online lectures in specific subjects
  • More help with Academic Listening



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