for academic purposes…

Blog   Read   Think   Write


Styles of academic writing include descriptive reports and opinion-based essays.

pencils are mightier than mice...

Academic writing is designed to communicate findings or ideas clearly and concisely. Therefore, essay structure and organisation is important. A well structured essay sets out the methods, findings and analysis, clearly and concisely:

Use academic grammar see more;
Use academic vocabulary see more.

Sample vocabulary

Word Syllables Translation &c.
Obvious ob·vi·ous
واضح [noun]
Where something is clear; easy to see.
— The most obvious difference between these two cars is …
Overall o·ver·all
شامل [adverb]
Describing the general trend.
Overall, the differences are greater than the similarities.
However how·ev·er
لكن [adverb]
Has the same meaning as “but”. Nevertheless; yet; on the other hand.
— Money is important however, happiness is more important.
Describe de•scribe
وصف [verb]
Noun: de·scrip·tion | Adjective: de·scrip·tive
— In this report, I will describe each stage in detail.
Discuss dis·cuss
بحث [verb (used with object)]
noun: dis·cus·sion
To consider/debate: different opinions on a subject.
— In this essay I will discuss the issue of junk food in schools.
— The discussion in class today was about global warming.
Positive pos·i·tive
إيجابي [adjective]
Used for describing an advantage (think: “good”).
— A positive, result of reading is gaining background ideas and knowledge.
Consequence con·se·quence
نتيجة [noun]
Adverb: con·se·quent·ly
Another word for effect/result.
— The exam was easy, as a consequence, most students passed.
— It rained consequently, I went outside.

Formatting conventions

When you produce a piece of academic writing, you need to consider a number of things. First and foremost: for every source you use, you need to cite this in the text of your document (“in-text”) and then provide a full reference to it in a list of references at the end of your text (“post-text”). Secondly, the document must be formatted in a certain way (e.g. font type, font size, line spacing, margin size &c. &c.).

If you are using research or ideas based on work by others (e.g. books, journals, websites) you must reference everything fully and in a standardised way. There are in fact many different referencing styles, but the two most commonly used for academic purposes are APA and Chicago:

APA style format Chicago style format
APA (American Psychological Association) is a very common format and uses an “author-date” reference style. APA provides a comprehensive formatting and styling guide, including instructions on how to layout and structure your writing. In fact, APA covers all aspects of the writing process, including how to avoid plagiarism, the tone of language to be used and, how to construct tables and graphs.
see more
The Chicago Manual of Style (CMS) is used in some social science publications and most historical journals. In distinction to APA, CMS offers writers a choice of several different formats and actually permits the mixing of formats, so long as it is consistent. CMS covers all aspects of the writing process, including how to avoid plagiarism, the tone of language to be used and, how to construct tables and graphs.
see more

Creative writing

As writing is a creative skill, it is important to practice writing “creatively” at the same time as learning how to write “academically”. Creative writing expresses feelings, emotions, personal thoughts and ideas, in an imaginative way rather than just as a means of conveying information. It is argued that by practicing creative writing in the target language will improve your English proficiency in many respects: grammar, vocabulary, phonology and discourse. This is because when you write creatively you have to manipulate the language in interesting and demanding ways in order to express uniquely personal sentiments.

Designed by pencil

Designed by pencil


Irrespective of style, good writing is contingent upon extensive reading. Therefore, this site provides guidance on reading “skills” as well as practice Reading-to-write tasks. The majority of these reading tasks are based upon “authentic” materials. In other words, they are taken from one of a number of different English language newspapers — they were not written for English language students, but for native speakers of English to read.

Authentic sources used on this website include:

The Guardian

Gulf News

The Independent

New Scientist

Khaleej Times




Fast Company




Seatle Times

The Australian


see more