Writing Academically


These pages contain useful information on how to write in different styles whether academic, essays or reflective writing.  This will also provide support related to punctuation, paraphrasing and how to improve your work.

Click on the different tabs below to expand more information.

Assignment Basics

This page is useful if you need to find out about the difference between a report and an assignment as well as understanding your assignment, types of assignment and giving presentations.

Find out more by visiting the Assignment Basics page.

Assignment Writing

Find out more about how to write an assignment and essay by visiting the Assignment Writing page.

How to Write in an Academic Style

Please be aware that this is very generic guidance only, and that specific programmes may offer different guidance on what is expected from writing in an academic style. Always ask your Tutor for guidance if you are unsure.

To find out more about academic writing, please visit the How to Write in an Academic Style page.

Improving your Work

Essay writing is a skill that takes time to master. It is really important to accept this and to allow time to review and revise what you have written and to build on feedback.

To find out more about improving your work, please visit the Improving your Work page.


Within academic writing it is advised that a combination of both direct and indirect quotes (paraphrasing) are used. Often it is better to paraphrase what an author has said as opposed to using lengthy direct quotations. But what does it mean ‘to paraphrase’? According to the MacMillan English Dictionary (MacMillan, 2012:online), to paraphrase is “to express what someone else has said or written using different words, especially in order to make it shorter or clearer.” When you paraphrase another author’s writing you rewrite their argument using your own words, phrasing and interpreting it in your own way.

Please visit the Paraphrasing page to find out more.

Support for Speakers of English as a Foreign Language

No matter what your level, anyone who speaks another language benefits from revising language basics such as punctuation and grammar from time to time.

To find out more, please visit the Support for Speakers of English as a Foreign Language page.

Writing Reflectively

At University, reflective writing may appear to be more overtly encouraged on some units within some courses compared with others. For example, students who are required to maintain a ‘reflective’ journal or submit a ‘reflective assignment’ will, from necessity, be more familiar with this particular style of learning and writing.

Find out more about reflective practice, reflective assessments: Plans, journals & Essays, Gibbs Reflective Cycle and more by visiting the Writing Reflectively page.