How to Improve Your Academic Writing

Academic writing requires a particular skill set, which one does not acquire by osmosis. It takes time to develop the craft of writing and, like any other skill, it takes practice to hone.

We’ve curated a list of excellent resources and online courses to help you improve your academic writing. Although every course linked in this article is an invaluable investment in your academic future, we’ve saved our best tip for last!

Arizona State University’s English Composition Course

Some universities offer intensives to provide students with the skills they need for university writing. Arizona State University’s free course, hosted by edX, is very intensive. It’s an eight-week commitment, with an estimated 18-hours of work per week.

However, this course addresses more than just the writing process. It teaches critical thinking skills, a range of academic written forms and ways to maximise effective technology use.

Additionally, if you are planning on studying at a college in the United States, this course can be transferred as credit towards your degree.

Lund University’s Online Resources

Lund University in Sweden has an open online course, comprising over 20 bite-sized videos, available on YouTube. These videos cover a range of topics including: understanding task requirements, the writing process, structuring an argument, reading strategies, referencing and editing strategies. Each video is presented by an academic and is approximately five minutes long.

This free course offers clear, concise guidance without requiring an ongoing commitment. You can access the information you need, without having to work through content that’s not relevant to you.

Berkeley University of California’s Academic and Business Writing Course

Hosted by edX, Berkeley University of California offers a six-week academic writing course. It’s free online; however, there is a charge for a verified certificate.

Dr Maggie Sokolik manages the course and boasts an impressive resume. She literally wrote the textbook on academic writing! The course material is delivered through readings and videos, and includes several assignments.

If you’re serious about improving your academic writing, the Berkeley course is an excellent starting point. The next course starts on 7 December 2017.

Berkeley also offers the ‘How to Write an Essay’ course, also facilitated by Dr Sokolik.

Academic Writing Lectures

Universities often offer free lectures or tutorials to introduce students to academic writing. Inquire at your campus library or student services to find out what your university offers.

The University of Southern Queensland has an excellent 20-minute lecture. It’s available free online and offers an introduction to academic writing. It covers strategies for planning your writing and the features of academic writing.

Capstone Editing: Professional Academic Editing Services

If you are serious about improving your academic writing, we highly recommend engaging the services of a professional academic editor. The editors at Capstone Editing edit closely for style, format and language, and provide detailed feedback on your work.

Many of the courses and tutorials we’ve suggested are created overseas. Australian universities have some different expectations regarding style and language. For this reason, we believe that engaging Capstone Editing is the best way to accelerate your academic writing!

We also encourage you to access the Resources tab of our website for more helpful information.

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