Advanced Academic English: Writing Skills

Objectives and content

The main objective of this course is to acquire a well-structured, coherent academic writing style by discussing and producing authentic text materials. Grammatical accuracy and vocabulary expansion are also addressed.

After a general introduction on academic style and vocabulary, this course focuses on the different sections in research papers (Abstracts, Literature Reviews, Introductions, Methods, Results, Discussions). We will examine authentic examples from the participants' disciplines, which serves as a basis to introduce different writing techniques and to give tips to avoid frequently made mistakes.

In addition, the participants' own research papers are thoroughly studied, evaluated and corrected inside and outside of the classroom, both by the teacher and by peers. Thanks to lively interaction, a discussion forum is built that does not strive for rigid rules and instructions, but trains linguistic confidence in academic writing.

Required prior knowledge

Advanced knowledge of English. The Doctoral Schools will invite you to take a compulsory test in advance. Should you not pass this test, you can e.g. take the preparatory course English for Written Academic Purposes.


There is a placement test.

The participants will submit a fragment from an article after the course.

Course materials

This page gives shared information about the specialised Advanced Academic English: writing skills courses (continuous training).

  • Natural Sciences
  • Life Sciences and Medicine
  • Arts, Humanities and Law
  • (Bioscience) Engineering
  • Social and Behavioural Sciences

Recommended books:

  • Swales J. & Feak C. (2000): English in today's research world: A Writing Guide, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press
  • Swales J. & Feak C. (2004): Academic Writing for Graduate Students, Second Edition: Essential Tasks and Skills, Michigan: The University of Michigan Press

If you buy one of these books at Standaard Boekhandel, Kouter 31, 9000 Gent, you will receive a discount of 10% on the official price. Make sure to mention that you take a language course at the UCT.