Academic Skills Course

(spring 2020 cohort)


Understanding the assessment type and the UK marking criteria



How are essays marked in the UK? Which boxes do you have to tick for a 2.1 or a 1st? This session will show you how an essay is marked in practice and what goes behind the marker’s decision.


Critically reading academic texts and efficient note-taking



How do I efficiently read an academic article? How do I best organise my reading notes? This session will show you examples of how to find the key arguments in an academic reading.


How to create an essay plan



What should I include in the introduction, body and conclusion? This practical session will go through the key steps of essay planning.


Building a good argument


How do I answer the essay question? How do I build an argument? How do I structure my argument? This session will demonstrate how to turn your ideas into academic essays.


Topic sentences and paragraphing


How do I make each paragraph meaningful and link it to the core topic of my essay? This session will show practical examples of different paragraph types and topic sentences.


Evidence and referencing

What counts as ‘evidence’? Which types of sources can I use for an academic essay? Is there a certain number of references I need for an essay? This session will explore the various types of evidence that can be used in an essay and demonstrate how to use a consistent referencing style.


Developing your academic writing style


What is academic writing and what does it require? This session will look at practical examples of different academic styles and show how a clear and economical writing style can improve your essay.




What does it mean to be ‘original’ in an essay? Is original thinking even possible in a short essay? This session will show how critical reading can contribute to originality and boost your essay grades.


How to paraphrase to never be penalised for plagiarism

Where is the line between paraphrasing and plagiarism? How much of my essay should contain my original thoughts and how much can I paraphrase from my readings? This session will show examples of how to mix your original ideas and the knowledge from the literature in your essay to score higher on critical thinking and originality.


Polishing your language to move your essay up a grade



What should I do after I finish writing the essay? Would a fresh pair of eyes help me? This session will give practical tips on what to prioritise after you have your essay draft ready.

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