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Study Skills

Resources to improve your study skills

Academic writing

Academic writing

  • can come in many forms - essay, report, critical review, case study, research paper
  • is based on evidence, analysis, ideas and concepts
  • is objective, written in a neutral way that states the information and does not show personal bias or emotion. Avoid use of 'I' - and reference to yourself as writer e.g.
          Instead of:  In this report I will examine .... use     This report examines... 
  • is formally structured, in clear sentences and paragraphs, with correct grammar, spelling and punctuation. It may include section or chapter headings, a table of contents and reference list.
  • uses deductive reasoning - You need to evaluate the ideas, compare them with those of other writers, and examine issues and perspectives critically.
  • uses formal, impersonal language rather than informal slang or regular speaking language e.g. : 

          Informal: The social worker looked at their history to find out which interventions had previously been done.

          Academic: The social worker examined the client's history to establish which interventions had previously been implemented.

  • emphasises facts and ideas. Your opinion may also be required based on the evidence you have provided.
  • requires ideas supported by evidence which is cited in the text , with full details given  in a reference list or bibliography at the end of your work.
  • Usually spells out abbreviations in full e.g. does not, rather than doesn't, is not rather than isn't.

Box Hill Institute's Guidelines for formatting assessments  (below) provides general information on presenting your work which may be useful. This document is not used by all Teaching Centres.