Why, and how, should I improve my writing skills in English? 
  • Knowing your subject is not enough to pass your University examinations. You need to write clear, well-organised and well-argued essays, in the correct academic style.
  • Don't panic and don't give up! Ask for help from your tutor, email us at LanguageDevelopment@yorksj.ac.uk or visit our Study Development web pages at www.yorksj.ac.uk/students/study-skills/
  • Reading will help with your writing. If you need to write essays, read essays. Ask your tutor for some examples. 
What if I don't know how to write an essay or assignment?
  • You are not alone! This is one of the skills you are at University to learn.
  • Firstly, you need to fully understand the topic and the objective of your assignment. Read the assignment task very thoroughly. Then read it again. If you're still not completely sure, ask your tutor.
  • We have a comprehensive list of information documents to help you with academic writing. 
  • This checklist is a good one to start with.
  • Here you will find a free academic writing skills course
  • For help with grammar this document is particularly useful. 
  • For help with sentence structure this document offers practical advice. 
  • If you need assistance with your vocabulary you will find this a helpful link
  • Oxford Learners Dictionaries also has a very useful academic word list. 
  • Heriot-Watt University provides a good academic writing course.  The University of Reading gives further advice here
  • The following links will help you understand the differences between essay writing and report writing.  
  • It is very important that you feel comfortable talking to your tutor. They are there to support you. You can also write a paragraph, on any topic, and send it to LanguageDevelopment@yorksj.ac.uk for feedback. (Please note, we're not allowed to correct your language for assignments - however, we can give you some general feedback)
  • Visit our study skills page for further information. 
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