Academic writing – Online resources


Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL)
This is a really helpful website with tutorials on general and academic writing in English.
This is another very helpful website with tutorials on academic writing in English.

Grammar and Style Resources
On this University of New South Wales, Australia website, there’s a range of useful resources that include help with

Academic English Reading and Writing
This link to the University of Comte website will take you to a wide range of exercises that focus on paragraphing.

Academic vocabulary (AWL)
This University of Nottingham site is designed to help students expand their academic vocabulary using the Academic Word List (AWL ).

English for Academic Purposes
On these pages, made available by Centre for Independent Language Learning (CILL) based in Hong Kong, you can find a wide range of good quality resources to help with academic writing. It is worth exploring all the units on the page, but the following may be of particular interest:

Also from the Centre for Independent Language Learning (CILL), there are these academic vocabulary crosswords: Crossword one and  Crossword two.

Academic listening
For students attending or preparing to attend an English-speaking university, or simply for those who want to improve their listening skills, this series of BBC podcasts could be helpful. It’s about learning to listen and listening to learn.

Useful tools

There is a free version of this application that you can download to your desktop or use in your browser if you’re writing online on a blog or social media page. It checks spelling and suggests possible grammar mistakes.

RefSeek is a web search engine for students and researchers that aims to make academic information easily accessible to everyone. RefSeek searches more than one billion documents, including web pages, books, encyclopaedias, journals and newspapers.

Cite this for Me
This is a tool that allows you to quickly and easily format references and sources in the style of your choice (e.g. Harvard, MLA).

Harvard Generator
This is a tool you can use to quickly format references in the correct Harvard Referencing Format.

Slick Write
Slick Write is a free tool designed to make it easier to check writing for grammar errors, potential stylistic mistakes, and add greater variety.

This tool “highlights long, complex sentences and common errors; if you see a yellow highlight, shorten the sentence or split it. A red highlight indicates that a sentence is so dense and complicated that readers will get lost trying to follow its meandering, splitting logic — try editing this sentence to remove the red.”

This application “ranks the most frequently used words in any given body of text. Use this to see what words you overuse (is everything a “solution” for you?) or maybe just to find some keywords from a document. Wordcounter is useful for writers, editors, students, and anyone who thinks that they might be speaking redundantly or repetitively – and it’s free!”

English thesaurus
This online thesaurus from the publishers Collins will helps with finding alternative ways of expressing ideas so that the language used is more varied and more accurately fits what the writer would like to say.

Sketch Engine for Language Learning
With this tool, you can “Explore the English language in more than one billion words from the news, scientific papers, Wikipedia articles, fiction books, web pages, blogs” to find example sentences, collocations and words similar to the one you enter.

Evernote is an application designed for note taking, organising, and archiving. It allows you to create notes which can be pieces of formatted text, full web pages or web page excerpts, photographs (if you have the Evernote app on your phone), voice memo, or even handwritten notes. You can watch this short video tutorial to see how this powerful tool works:

This is a free reference manager and an academic social networking tool. It allows you to manage your research and collaborate with other researchers. You can watch this short video tutorial to see how this powerful research tool works: 


A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study
This is a free online course offered by the University of Reading in the UK. This 15-hour course is spread over five weeks and is designed to help you learn how to use English for study at university or college and develop your writing skills, vocabulary and grammar.