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Badge icon Earn a free Open University digital badge if you complete this course, to display and share your achievement. Create your free OpenLearn profile. Course content Course content. English: skills for learning Start this free course now. Free course English: skills for learning. Week 3: Writing university assignments Introduction This week you will start to look at university writing, a very important student activity.
Watch Anna describing what you will study this week: Download this video clip. Skip transcript Transcript. Welcome to Week 3. Show transcript Hide transcript. Interactive feature not available in single page view see it in standard view. Next 1 Everyday writing.
Skip Your course resources Your course resources As you work through this course you will need various resources to help you complete some of the activities. Week 1 Activity 7 Improving health and wellbeing File. Download Resource. Week 1 Activity 14 Mind map File. Week 5 Fred's essay File. Week 5 Activity 2 answer File. Week 5 Activity 3 answer File. Week 5 Activity 5 answer File. Week 6 Activity 6 Table 1 File. Week 7 Figure 4 Word classes diagram File.
Week 7 Activity 8 Word classes table File. Week 7 Activity 10 File. They are simply not familiar with referencing styles — such as APA , Harvard , Vancouver , Chicago , etc — or lack the skills to put the information from their sources into their own words. Academic support units may also help with paraphrasing. You can also use referencing management software, such as EndNote or Mendeley.
You can then store your sources, retrieve citations and create reference lists with only a few clicks. For undergraduate students, Zotero has been recommended as it seems to be more user-friendly. Using this kind of software will certainly save you time searching for and formatting references.
However, you still need to become familiar with the citation style in your discipline and revise the formatting accordingly. Likewise, writing an academic paper requires careful planning: you need to decide the number of sections, their organisation, and the information and sources you will include in each. Research shows students who prepare detailed outlines produce higher-quality texts.
Planning will not only help you get better grades, but will also reduce the time you spend staring blankly at the screen thinking about what to write next. During the planning stage, using programs like OneNote from Microsoft Office or Outline for Mac can make the task easier as they allow you to organise information in tabs. These bits of information can be easily rearranged for later drafting.
Navigating through the tabs is also easier than scrolling through a long Word file. The written language used at university is more formal and technical than the language you normally use in social media or while chatting with your friends. Academic words tend to be longer and their meaning is also more precise. To find the right words, you can use SkELL , which shows you the words that appear more frequently, with your search entry categorised grammatically.
Another option is the Writefull app, which does a similar job without having to use an online browser. A study found a group of university students did significantly better in a test after incorporating the process of planning, drafting and editing in their writing. You probably already know to check the spelling of a word if it appears underlined in red.
You may even use a grammar checker such as Grammarly. However, no software to date can detect every error and it is not uncommon to be given inaccurate suggestions.