Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Writing 1
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Portfolio  Portfolio, including: a) question and topic analysis; b) introduction; c) critical paraphrase of key issue from reference material 1000 words   40%
Semester Assessment Essay or Report  Essay or report. 1,500 words.  60%
Supplementary Assessment Supplementary  All failed elements of the assessments must be retaken if the students average mark falls below the required pass mark of 40 % (to a maximum of 2500 words). New assignment titles will be issued.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. analyse and appropriately interpret writing assignments in their own academic discipline;
2. display a critical awareness of the features of academic discourse;
3. identify how critical features of discourse can be used to inform own writing development;
4. organise a logical and coherent argument within a recommended format for an appropriate academic assignment.

Brief description

This module covers initial aspects of planning and drafting academic essays. Week by week students engage in classroom activities and discussion through which they identify key issues for writing in their own subject fields. Over the ten weeks, students adapt aspects of their own writing styles into the formal requirements of writing subject-specific essays.


This module aims to develop a critical understanding of the processes involved in writing an academic essay. It works towards identification of appropriate argumentation, interpretation of essay questions, structural planning and appropriate use of published source material. It encourages students to identify and work within styles recommended by their academic departments, towards the development of effective critical writing.


Seminar 1 Introduction to course and assignments.

The specialist nature of academic communication: introduction to discourse community.

Types of argument in academic communication.

Seminar 2 The writer and reader interaction process: shared background knowledge.

The notion of problem and topic analysis techniques. How the problem influences the type of argumentation.

Seminar 3 Working with essay questions'raraphrasing questions and defining key concepts.

Developing focus and structure in essays.

Seminar 4 Working with essay questions'raraphrasing questions and defining key concepts.

Developing focus and structure in essays.

Seminar 5 Issues in paraphrasing.

Choices in structuring the main body of the essay - choosing a structure in relation to problem, aims and intended pattern of argument.

Seminar 6 Using references and writing a bibliography.
Seminar 7 Concise writing and paragraph structure - the argument of fact.

How argument of fact works across paragraphs to ensure continuity and focus throughout extended text.

Seminar 8 The nature of argument: planning structure according to strategies for argument
Seminar 9 Drawing conclusions and writing conclusions.
Seminar 10 Revision strategies and writing under exam conditions.


This module is at CQFW Level 4