Checking your academic style
This section looks at some techniques you can use to improve the academic style of your writing.
The advice in Checking your academic style will be most helpful to you if you have an essay draft to hand so that you can go through it and check or upgrade the style.What to do:
Read through the Checking your academic style guide and complete the two related exercises.
You can access these resources in any order from the links on the right if you prefer, but we recommend that you work through the whole guide completing the exercises as directed to get a good understanding of the overall topic.Other useful resources:
- For guidance on writing clear sentences see Very clear writing.
- For detailed guidance on developing an argument within a paragraph see the Developing a critical argument guide.
- For advice and links to help with using correct English see Improving your English.
- Depersonalising your writing
- Other areas of style
Proofreading and editing
This section looks at the important final stage of checking through your essay before you submit it.
The advice in Proofreading and editing will be most useful at the point when you are happy with the content and structure of your essay but need to do some final polishing before handing it in.What to do:
Read through the Proofreading and editing guide. This includes practice for identifying different types of mistakes and links to more help and practice on punctuation, spelling and common mistakes. Use the advice in the guide to check and edit a real draft of an essay if you have one to hand. Other useful resources:
Checking your referencing
Referencing is central to academic writing. Always check that you have cited every source of information you have used and listed them in the correct format at the end of your essay.
At UEL, we use the 'Cite Them Right' style of Harvard referencing, except for the Field of Psychology which uses the APA system.
- The Info skills Referencing information resources will help you to understand academic integrity and plagiarism and how to reference in the correct style.
- The links below are particularly helpful for checking your referencing format:
- Harvard referencing at UEL - a guide to Cite Them Right style and quizzes to check your referencing skills.
- Cite Them Right e-book - detailed guidance available to all students via UEL Plus. Log in as normal then click Campus Bookmarks to access the e-book.
- APA referencing style - a detailed guide on the style required within the Field of Psychology at UEL. There is also in-depth material in the Psychology Student Skills Repository in UEL Plus. Ask your tutor if you need more information.
There are many different referencing styles used in different universities. If you consult external websites to help with your academic writing skills, the guidance on referencing may not be appropriate for studying at UEL. So, for help with referencing, only use UEL resources and seek the advice of your tutors if you are in any doubt about the correct style.