Academic Writing Complete Guide

Purpose and Audience of this Guide
Why read academic articles?
Essay Writing
Report Writing
Oral Presentations
Finding Sources
Good Academic Scholarship
Understanding Feedback
Exam preparation and Techniques


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Coursework

Examiners have to use coursework to determine if the student has fully understood everything they have learned in an entire course of a full academic year. Coursework is assigned to students once they enroll in a diploma or a degree program and it becomes a part of a grade achieved in a course. Some of the elements of coursework resemble lab work. Other kinds include experimental works such as surveys polls, other observational studies, as well as scientific research in subjects in science where it is hard to prove material coverage through exams.

In high school, coursework takes the form of an extended essay or a project with its objectives differing from one subject to another. However, every student is supposed to conduct some research to ensure that they have enough material for the topic they are handling. To give you an idea of how high school coursework varies from one subject to the next, look at this example:

English coursework takes the form of an extended essay whose title is your choice. You are provided with a list of themes to explore and you can settle on a format such as a comparison between a set text and another.

Geography coursework involves gathering, reporting, and interpreting data that is designed to answer a given geographical question. You can investigate the usage of a shopping center or look at soil erosion on a specific beach.

Science coursework takes the form of a scientific project or experiment that is conducted individually and reported as such.

The rules

Before you can commence the writing process for your coursework, there are rules you ought to be aware of, and a good understanding of them is important. If you do not conform to these rules, you will definitely fail in your coursework assignment.


  • No room for plagiarism
    This is something you have to refrain from at all times. It is a dangerous move given the availability of relevant materials and information on the internet. Ensure that everything you write is original, that is, you have used your own words. In case you have used someone else’s work in your coursework writing, it is crucial for you to cite and reference it appropriately. That will make your work much more credible.
  • The teacher can only do much to assist you
    Teachers can provide guidance on what you can include in your coursework assignment. Feel free to ask questions as that will give you a clear picture of what the examiners want. Although they will provide answers, they will only guide you as you write your first draft, and the rest of the work rests with you.
  • Check the word limit
    You are supposed to stick to the word count. Check, to see whether footnotes, appendices, and bibliographies are included in the word count because in most cases, they are not.
  • Check the topics
    Look at the topics that are allowed within your coursework. This will help you in knowing which topic is likely to be examined and you will have a chance to choose a different one for your coursework assignment.

Steps of carrying out a successful academic coursework

To carry out successful coursework writing, there are a number of things one has to keep in mind. They are essential in ensuring that your coursework is within the specifications of your instructor. They include:


  • Careful topic selection
    You are supposed to carefully select a topic and decide the objective of your coursework. It is important to understand every requirement of your coursework and the topic at hand. The rule of the golden middle comes in handy during topic selection. It is important you stick to it. Do not choose a topic that is too hackneyed since that would make a pointless paper. You also need not choose a topic that is too specialized and under-researched. This is because you will need sources for your topic and it is advisable to find them easily.

    You can narrow your topic down and if possible make sure there is only one way to understand it. This will help you to articulate the subject in a clear manner.
  • Consult with your tutor
    You can consult your instructor or tutor who is supervising your coursework writing. His opinion on the topic is crucial and he can advise you on how to narrow it down or improve it all together. Supervisors and teacher will provide necessary hints on whether or not your topic is promising and best perspective to take. They also can help you in knowing where you can start researching your topic, the challenges that abound and so on.
  • Formulate a plan for your coursework structure
    The coursework requirements vary from one university or college to another. The structure and content are not always the same and it is important to have a clear understanding of the requirements before you can start the writing process. Remember that this plan must be flexible because as you write, it will keep on changing depending on the way you discuss your ideas and the contents therein. The idea of having a plan is to give your coursework assignment a sense of structure and direction as well as a starting point.
  • Figure out where you can locate your sources
    You have to know where you can get possible sources for your coursework topic as well as the equipment that you will use for your research methods. You can now commence your research. During the research, take notes as you go along, check the structure plan of your coursework, and make changes. Your notes should provide easy navigation.
  • Outline your coursework
    You can now plan your research based on your structure plan as well as the research materials. This is a more detailed plan of the structure of your coursework. It will be essential to have a good outline because it will guide you as you write your first draft.
  • Keep working on your draft and make necessary changes as you go along. Remember that you are looking forward to a flawless paper that has enough information that is well structured. During the drafting stage, you can arrange and rearrange everything until you are satisfied that the information flows according to your expectation and is within the requirements of the assignment. You can consult your supervisor as you go along with the assignment.
  • Once you are done with your first draft, read it carefully and identify any mistakes that you can find. Check your data for accuracy, consistency, and credibility. You also need to ascertain that you have followed the right format and style of referencing your sources. It is important to consult your supervisor to understand the format that is his preference. Proofreading also helps you to deal with mistakes that relate to grammar, punctuation, and spelling.

Selecting your topic

Selecting your topic is one of the important aspects that take a larger portion of your academic coursework. As such, you should ensure that it is very much reasonable and balanced choice. There are several ways that you can use to select a topic for your coursework assignment. Consultation with your tutor is enough to help you narrow down your subject to a given topic. However, sometimes you will have to make an independent decision. To do this, you can move from universals to specifics. Mind-mapping techniques and brainstorming are very instrumental in topic selection.

You need to define the field of your future research and then settle on a school. You can choose romanticism, decadence, realism, Beat and so on. For instance, if your select Beat literature, you can narrow the subject down, think over the characters, events, and relationships describe in that literature. Once you are done with the procedures stated previously you can now come up with a topic for your coursework. It is important to remember that the success of your coursework depends on the topic that you select. If you go for something that interests you, it will be easy to write the coursework.

Tips to consider

The research phase is very important for your coursework assignment. Do not skip a phase to start the writing process as that may not work very well with the objectives of your coursework. Gather as much data as you can from different sources. Your sources can include books, websites, and journals experiment results and so on. A bigger chunk of your tie should be spent on the research phase.

Your coursework contents ought to be accurate, relevant, and credible. The data that you use in your coursework should provide your research hypothesis and the paper should analyze that hypothesis in-depth.

Do not procrastinate to write your coursework. Last minute writing is what culminates to poorly written coursework that does not earn good grades. You will also not be able to be attentive to what you are writing, making your work full of flaws and inconsistent content.

Ensure that your coursework is easy to read and understand. You can use headings and subheadings to break your text into smaller chunks.


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