Now you’ve made it! What next?
Academic English is a very specific set of skills you will learn to help you prepare for success in your university studies ahead. As well as being able to listen effectively and comprehend and take notes of what is being taught in lectures, there will be vast amounts of reading throughout your studies that require specific strategies as well as proofreading. However, it is probably your writing skills that will be most important as written papers are highly structured and much of your success will depend on how well you can produce papers.
When you arrive at university and progress through your studies, you can expect to come across different written requirements from dissertations and thesis to essays and simple presentations that you may have to give orally as well. Here’s a quick summary:
Dissertations and thesis (depending on your degree and country of study) are usually the pinnacle of your studies and will require you to consolidate all your skills and work into one document. They will contain
Research Proposal or Question is focused in order to limit its scope within a broader topic and keep you within your word limit. You might also have to outline the Aimof the research, which gives a detailed statement of what you will be achieving from the research.
Abstracts give a very brief summary of the remainder of the document. You will need to identify and organise key components and use the right language to get the message across succinctly and gain the readers interest.
Methodologies describe your procedures in how you approached your research. You will need to describe data and results clearly, compare current and historic research and use appropriate tense and markets.
Literature reviews are a summary and evaluation of the reading relevant to your research project and provide key context. The review will have to be unique and relevant while contributing new information to your research paper. It will also have to highlight patterns such as consensus, gaps and inconsistencies throughout.
Discussion, findings and conclusions are where you will critically evaluate, interpret, explain and justify your own findings from your research.
Essays and journal articles are something you will come across often and require a specific focus of writing skills. There are key words you must understand first in order to understand essay types and answer correctly. The Essay, usually much shorter than a dissertation or research report, is where you will structure your key arguments, thoughts and position on a subject through use of critical thinking and based on your factual research.
Exams are of course still part of the process and still matter as they will gain overall points towards your success. Understanding what is being asked of you at exam time in the form of the questions will be critical to your success. Examiners look for you to demonstrate key areas of understanding in the form of knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation. You must understand the key words being used in the question and the delicate nuances between them. If you don’t, you could easily go off in the wrong direction