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University College London

Academic Writing in English for ESL Learners

University College London via FutureLearn


Improve your academic writing skills for essay writing in English

This course will equip you with the skills to write good persuasive essays in English at university level, as well as improve your critical thinking skills, argument reasoning, and use of external sources for writing in English.

Develop your academic essay writing skills to succeed at an English-speaking university

For many ESL students around the world, it can be challenging to meet the high standard expected for academic writing in English.

As writing is an essential skill in all disciplines and one of the main methods of assessments at university, these challenges can negatively impact student learning progress.

Learn how to write an essay in English using evidence and critical analysis

On this course, you’ll learn the requirements for good academic writing in English.

You’ll have the chance to improve your English writing skills through practice and develop your knowledge of argumentative essay structure and composition.

You’ll also discover how to write critically and analytically using evidence, argument reasoning, analysis and evaluation.

Build your skills in referencing and formatting for academic writing in English

As you improve and evaluate your own work as well as the work of others, you’ll learn how to use external evidence in your English essay writing and how to search for primary and secondary resources.

The final steps of the course will teach you how to format academic essays in English correctly and present your document.

Get ESL training with academic writing experts at UCL

The course is created and led with insights from the UCL Knowledge Lab and the UCL Arena Centre.

As an ESL learner, you’ll learn in an open and collaborative environment where you’ll be supported to share your experiences and resources.

This course is designed for English as a second language learners and English as a foreign language learners studying in English at higher education institutions around the world.

It will also be useful for learners of English who wish to improve their academic writing skills.


  • Writing and the Argumentative Essay
    • Welcome to the course
    • Week 1
    • What is academic writing? What is an argumentative essay? How is it important to your university study?
    • Taking a stand
    • The opposition
    • The introduction
    • The thesis statement
    • Body paragraphs
    • Supporting arguments (evidence)
    • Refutation
    • The conclusion
    • Practice writing about your any topic
    • Summary of the week
  • Critical Thinking and Using Evidence
    • Welcome to week 2
    • What is critical thinking?
    • Making claims in the thesis statement
    • Reasons and evidence
    • Evaluating arguments
    • Cautious language and hedging
    • Summary of the week
  • Using External Resources and Incorporating Evidence
    • Welcome to week 3
    • Using external resources
    • Why do we need to use external resources?
    • Methods of integrating information from other sources.
    • Citations
    • Plagiarism
    • Organization of the argumentative essay
    • Unity and coherence
    • Submit your essay
    • Course summary

Taught by

Mashael Almeshal


4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 46 ratings

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