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University of Reading

A Beginner's Guide to Writing in English for University Study

University of Reading via FutureLearn


Learn how to write using academic English in preparation for university study.

Academic writing can be very different from other types of written English. This course has been developed to help you learn the basics of academic writing and develop your English language skills.

You’ll develop some proficiency in key areas of ‘academic’ grammar, learn about the stages in essay writing, and produce an essay of your own. You’ll also explore how to organise an essay, write in an academic style, and use tools to evaluate your own writing and other learners’ writing, so that by the end of the course you’re able to write a good, basic academic essay.

This course is designed for non-English speakers interested in improving their academic writing skills. It is recommended that you have a minimum level of IELTS 4.5 or equivalent to get the most out of this course.


  • What is academic writing?
    • Welcome to the course
    • What is academic writing?
    • Developing an essay
    • Summary of the week
  • Essay structure and organisation
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • How to structure an essay
    • Starting work on your own essay
  • Using academic language
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • Language focus - Part 1A
    • Language Focus - Part 1B
    • Language focus - Part 2A
    • Language Focus - Part2B
  • Preparing your essay
    • Welcome to Week 4
    • Preparing your essay
    • Writing a first draft
  • Writing your essay
    • Welcome to Week 5
    • Submit the first draft of your essay
    • The final essay
    • Course summary


4.2 rating, based on 23 Class Central reviews

4.9 rating at FutureLearn based on 434 ratings

Start your review of A Beginner's Guide to Writing in English for University Study

  • The course made the topics easy to understand. One thing that I like most in the course is that it let us examine other's work and review the writer's strength's and weaknesses in writing.
  • Pilar Reyes
    Perfect for those intending to start college studies. Excellent structure and designing of the learning process necessary to write an academic essay. Learners are encouraged to participate in a very active way throughout the course.
  • Profile image for Samantha
    I was looking to take an online course for writing to improve the English in my stories and I found this. This to me looks pretty neat and if I wanted to sign up for a class here it'd be an affordable amount of money for one month.
  • Lashanta Kinsey
    There are a lot of grammatical errors throughout this introduction. I hope it does not interfere with the structure of writing a perfect essay.
  • Chimeddulam
    Hi all. i don't know about this course because of first time, i rolled it. But i am sure that i know lot of things and improve my English skills. Thanks
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