Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students, 5th Edition

Instructor resources to help support the teaching of Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students


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Teaching notes

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The book is designed to avoid lengthy theoretical explanations. Instead, the emphasis is on involving students as much as possible in completing writing activities, both individually or in pairs or groups, as teachers choose. In the first unit, for example, the first three sections ask students to complete short exercises.

Using the answer key

Teachers will appreciate that some writing exercises have one definite answer, while others are ‘open’ exercises with many possible responses. In these cases, a model answer is usually provided to give students an accurate example. However, teachers should emphasise that these models are only a guide and that other answers may be equally valid.

Part 1 – The Writing Process

This is organised as a comprehensive introduction to the process of academic writing. Depending on the level of the students, each unit should take two to  three hours of classroom time. Extra practice material can be found on the website for most units. The cross references (e.g. See Unit 5.3) are provided for students who require extra detail but are not necessary for completing the exercises.

1.1 Basics of Writing

This unit introduces students to the basic vocabulary associated with academic writing. The level may be too elementary for some students, in which case it can be studied briefly as revision material.

1 & 2 explain what makes academic writing distinct from other forms of writing.

3 & 4 introduce the names of the various tasks that students may have to write as part of their university studies, and the structure of common formats.

Academic journals will usually be used by students at master’s level and above.

5 & 6 Most students know the names of these components, but they are worth revising.

7 & 8 Paragraphs are treated in more detail in Unit 1.10. At this stage, students just need to be aware of their function and importance.

1.2 Reading: Finding Suitable Sources

This unit deals with the need to be selective when searching for reliable sources in order not to waste time reading unsuitable material.

1 contrasts three texts on the topic of water scarcity. Students could be asked to work in groups of three, each student reading one text and sharing their opinions with the others in the group.

2 could also be completed in pairs or small groups, and ideally the teacher would show students examples of some of these sources.

4 & 5 students need to practise using search engines by themselves after studying these sections.

1.3 Reading: Developing Critical Approaches

There are two main themes in this unit: developing effective reading skills and adopting a critical approach to sources. The first involves assessing the range of text features in order to evaluate material, and the second asks students to question what they read rather than just accepting it. In order to do that, students must achieve a good level of understanding of the texts.

1 highlights the different reading skills required. It is important for students to realise that reading such material requires different techniques compared to reading for pleasure in their own language.

2 revises the main features of texts that students need to study.

3 introduces the reading of abstracts, which provides a useful way of choosing which articles are worth reading.

4 asks students to assess texts in terms of objectivity: whether they mix opinion with fact, and also whether the facts are true.

5 provides examples of two internet sources, one of which is plainly unreliable.

6 & 7 offer further practice in the critical reading of texts. 6 could usefully be tackled in pairs, while if 7 is answered individually it will provide teachers with an insight into how well students have developed their critical reading skills.

1.4 Avoiding Plagiarism

This unit introduces students to the concept of plagiarism. It illustrates acceptable ways of acknowledging sources through citation, and also introduces the vital skills of summarising and paraphrasing. Note that these and also referencing are the subjects of later units (Units 1.7 and 1.8).

1 defines plagiarism and explains why students need to understand its dangers.

2 provides examples of the correct use of citations with both summaries and quotations.

3 explains that plagiarism can take many forms, some less obvious than others. It should be answered by students working in groups or pairs to promote discussion.

4 gives examples of summarising and paraphrasing a paragraph, in both acceptable and unacceptable ways. This illustrates some of the ideas in 3.

6 is an exercise in providing citations for both summaries and quotations.

7 revises some of the key vocabulary used in this unit.

1.5 From Understanding Essay Titles to Planning

This unit provides practice for both exam and coursework planning, although in the latter case there is time to modify the outline. The planning process should help students to write better work by carefully analysing the titles of essays.

1 & 2 emphasise the importance of planning and introduce some of the most important instruction words. 2 could be completed in pairs to promote discussion.

3 practises instruction words and demonstrates that many essay titles have two parts.

4 explains brainstorming in the context of exam essays.

5 discusses the issue of essay length. It is important to decide how much space to give to each part of the answer so that time is not wasted. However, the answers to the exercise can only be approximate.

6 provides models of outlines in alternative formats.

7 practises using the skills developed in this unit. It might be useful to set this as homework to assess the progress made by individual students.

1.6 Finding Key Points and Note-making

Good note-making depends on students identifying the key sections of a text which are relevant to their area of interest. Students should avoid copying sections of text or writing notes in their own language. Although initially note-making may be a slow process, once these skills are developed it becomes an essential technique.

1 demonstrates that key ideas are often found in the first (topic) sentence of a paragraph.

2 & 3 explain that students need to focus only on the points relevant to their research.

4 & 5 stress the value of note-making and provide an example of the process.

6 gives guidelines for good practice in note-making.

7 offers further practice in these skills. Again, the notes need to relate to the title of the essay.

1.7 Summarising and Paraphrasing

Although it is simpler to teach these two activities separately, in practice they tend to be employed together, and this should be explained to students. This unit deals with summarising first and then moves on to paraphrasing.

1 introduces the subject by demonstrating that summarising is an activity that everyone uses in normal life.

2 establishes the order in which a summary is carried out. It would be useful to do this exercise in pairs.

3 compares three summaries of a text and asks students to rank them. Again, this could be completed in pairs or small groups.

4 revises finding key points and then goes on to use these to build the summary, emphasising the flexible nature of summaries, which can be shortened or lengthened according to the writer’s needs.

5 provides additional practice, and could be set for homework.

6 introduces paraphrasing, with an example.

7 asks students to evaluate three paraphrases of a short text. As with 3, this is suitable for pair work.

8 demonstrates three techniques that are widely used in paraphrasing. Although these can be taught separately, and are practised thus in exercise 9, students should be told that it is common to use them together.

9 & 10 practise paraphrasing techniques separately and jointly.

1.8 References and Quotations

Referencing is an essential skill at any level of higher education. This unit revises some material from Unit 1.4 Avoiding Plagiarism and goes on to provide examples of accurate referencing. However, as this is such a complex subject, students need to use a more detailed source for full details of the referencing system used by their discipline – see website for links.

1 reminds students of the reasons for referencing.

2 revises the methods of referencing summaries and quotations.

3 introduces verbs of reference, which are dealt with more fully in Unit 4.4.

4 gives a brief outline of the various reference systems used in academia.

5 explains how quotations can be employed in students’ work.

6 provides practice with introducing summaries and quotations with correct citations.

7 & 8 deal with two further issues in this area: the special abbreviations used and giving secondary references.

9 focuses on writing a list of references for the end of a paper. The example is of the Harvard system, which will not apply to all students, but most aspects of this model are relevant to the other systems.

1.9 Combining Sources

This unit explains that in the introductory section of a paper it is usual to refer to the work of other writers on a topic. These writers may deal with different aspects of the same subject. Students are expected to follow this pattern in their own writing.

1 gives an example of this format, on the subject of student expectations of higher education, which students are asked to analyse. As an introductory section this could be completed in pairs.

2 presents a series of contrasting short texts on global warming. The exercise looks at the way the differing views are summarised in paragraph 2.3.

3 involves reading a third opinion and then finishing the previous paragraph 2.3 with a summary of Lahav’s views.

4 provides further practice with this process, but on the topic of globalisation. Before the writing task is attempted students must be fully understand texts 4.1–4.3, so it might be worth setting up groups of three to discuss each text in turn. The writing can then be done individually.

1.10 Organising Paragraphs

Paragraphs were briefly introduced in Unit 1.1, and here the focus is on their organisation. Students write more coherently if they think in terms of building an argument in a series of well-linked paragraphs.

1 analyses an example paragraph, but it should be explained that paragraphs can consist of many different sentence types – as shown in 2 and 3.

2 & 3 both use paragraphs on the subject of rates of home ownership. It may be necessary to explain this concept to some students. In 2 students have to organise the structure of the paragraph by thinking about the function of each sentence. In 3 they have to find the functions, and also identify the cohesion of the paragraph.

4 gives phrases for starting paragraphs.

5 asks students to write two paragraphs, using the notes, to practice organising their structure using conjunctions. 

6 is a similar exercise but using numerical data. Alternatively, students could be asked to write a paragraph on a topic in their own discipline.

1.11 Introductions and Conclusions

Unit 1.5 discussed the space needed for introductions and conclusions. Here the aim is to clarify the components generally found in these sections of an essay along with standard order in which they are presented. However, it should be explained that there is no ‘normal’ format, and much will depend on the length and purpose of the paper. It is worth reminding students that for coursework, introductions are normally written after the main body is completed.

1 a) is best completed in pairs, to give opportunity for discussion. Part b) may be better studied individually.

2 gives an example introduction containing seven components generally found in introductions. Again, it should be stressed that not every essay introduction will contain all of these.

3 deals with a common issue – getting started on writing. By practising with some of these titles (or others selected by the teacher), this difficulty may be overcome.

4 & 5 follow the same pattern as 1 with conclusions. There is perhaps more variation with the structure of conclusions than with introductions, and much depends on the topic.

6 links back to the essay introduced in 2. Here, the components of the conclusion have to be re-organised in a logical way.

1.12 Rewriting and Proofreading

This unit explains the final stages of the writing process. Rewriting is clearly not possible in exams, but proofreading should be attempted both in exams and for coursework.

1 & 2 suggest guidelines for rewriting and provide an example of a flawed introduction which students are asked to comment on. This is followed by an improved version which contains some of the suggestions made above.

3 continues the same introduction and requires students to repeat the process of criticism and rewriting. It may be helpful for some students to look at Unit 3.7 Style.

4 introduces proofreading. The difficulty students face here is identifying relatively minor errors which can, nevertheless, confuse the reader.

5 is designed to raise student awareness of the most common areas of error.

6 & 7 practise proofreading at both sentence and paragraph level.

Progress Check 1

These exercises can be used in various ways. They can be set as homework or completed individually in class. Students could then check their own answers, or the answers could be compared in pairs.

1 is a gap-fill exercise which revises knowledge of the writing process.

2 is a true/false exercise also designed to revise the material in Part 1, The Writing Process.

3 is a more demanding exercise involving note-making, summarising, and referencing skills. Completion of this should give teachers an indication of how well students have progressed and provide a guide to remedial work needed with other parts of this book (e.g. a student may need to study Unit 3.5 Punctuation).

Part 2 Elements of Writing

This section presents and practises some of the sub-skills needed in the writing process. Most papers, for instance, require writers to define, generalise, and discuss. Teachers can decide whether to integrate these units into Part 1, The Writing Process (e.g. 2.4 Definitions could be taught with 1.11 Introductions) or to use them on a remedial basis. Much will depend on the level of the students and the subjects they study.

Note that the units in Parts 2, 3, 4, and 5 are organised alphabetically and can be taught in any order. They can also be used by individual students on a self-study basis.

2.1 Argument and Discussion

‘Discuss’ is a common instruction in essay titles. This unit presents two ways of organising a discussion essay, and practises some of the relevant vocabulary.

1 presents discussion language. Note that ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ are rather informal and best avoided in written work. Students could be asked to write further sentences about integrating language and content before tackling the paragraph about studying abroad.

2 Many students will be familiar with the ‘vertical’ essay pattern, but it is useful

to learn the alternative ‘horizontal’ version which allows a more complex approach.

3 The brainstorming element could be usefully completed in pairs or groups and then the outlines written individually.

4 gives examples of impersonal phrases. The issue of style is dealt with more fully in Unit 3.7.

5 In this section the topics of prisons and home-working are used for practice, both having been introduced in previous sections.

6 examines the use of sources to support an argument. These skills were also practised in Unit 1.9 Combining Sources. It may be worth discussing the subject of ‘digital natives’ before answering the questions, so that all students are familiar with the idea.

7 The topic of young children using social media should be familiar to most, but again it could be useful to hold a brief discussion on the topic first.

2.2 Cause and Effect

To introduce this unit, it may be worth eliciting examples of cause and effect from students’ disciplines. Clearly, both causes and effects are commonly studied in most academic fields.

1 presents a series of structures using verbs or conjunctions which emphasise either the cause or the effect. Students could be asked to write similar sentences relating to their field.

2 This exercise has two parts. The matching exercise (which can be done in pairs) needs to be completed and checked before moving on to the writing.

3 Here the students have to imagine possible effects and causes. Weaker students may benefit from working with a classmate.

4 The topic of greater female longevity could be introduced as a question that is as yet unanswered, and students can be asked for their views.

5 presents a series of causes and effects in a flow chart. Talk these through with the class before completing the paragraph to ensure that all the students are familiar with the scenario.

2.3 Comparisons

As a warm-up for this subject, ask students to compare weather/ prices/ food in two different places (e.g. ‘the weather here is wetter and warmer than in my country’). This will be echoed in the final exercise in the unit comparing London with a student’s hometown.

1 offers revision of the basic structures of comparison. Note that Unit 3.3 offers more practice with quantitative comparison.

2 revises the structures presented in the first section.

3 & 4 deal with several areas of difficulty such as comparing abstract ideas and using superlatives.

5 provides further revision by asking students to identify errors. This could be usefully completed in pairs.

6 is a gap-fill exercise best completed individually, to practice writing a paragraph analysing data from a table. Note that Unit 2.8 Visual Information gives similar practice.

7 asks students to write a comparison of London with a city they know, perhaps the capital of their country. Clearly, they do not need to know all the details of their city: these can be invented if necessary.

2.4 Definitions

It is worth pointing out that students will only have to define concepts within their own subject, and that this is important to establish exactly what is being discussed. If necessary, give an example such as ‘globalisation’, which is a term widely used but not always clearly understood.

1 gives the structure of simple definitions.

2 consists first of a matching exercise which might be easier completed in pairs. The second part focuses on finding the correct category word to complete each sentence, and finally students are required to complete definitions with both category words and applications.

3 shows examples of more complex definitions taken from academic papers. They illustrate various ways of providing definitions in academic work.

4 asks students to choose several topics from essay titles and to define them. Note that although students are told to choose three topics, this can of course be varied, so strong students could attempt all five while weaker students just do one or two.

2.5 Examples

Including appropriate examples is a vital part of most academic writing, and this unit practises the language for introducing these.

1 explains the common pattern of generalisation followed by example. Students could be asked to suggest similar sentences from their own subject area.

2 lists the main phrases used, most of which will be known to students. In the exercise students need to find suitable examples, and these could first be suggested in whole class discussion if necessary.

3 offers practice in including examples at paragraph level. With weaker students, read through the text first to check for comprehension, before asking students to insert the examples.

4 is a similar exercise, but here students have to provide their own examples. Again, read through the text first if necessary to check that phrases such as ‘host country’ are understood.

5 deals with restatement, which is usually used to ensure full understanding. Students will certainly meet these phrases in their reading.

2.6 Generalisations

Generalising is quite easy, but in an academic context it is important to avoid overgeneralising, creating simplification.

1 introduces the need for caution in generalisations. The exercise could be completed in pairs,

2 Note that the first structure, using the plural, is both more normal and probably easier for students to use.

3 & 4 offer practice in writing quite simple generalisations. With 4 it is worth contrasting the mass of data in the table with the sentences highlighting the most significant points.

5 presents an example of the use of generalisation in a text. It shows how a concluding generalisation is arrived at, in this case based on research.

6 shows how an introductory generalisation is developed. In the writing exercise students will ideally choose an example from their own discipline.

2.7 Problems and Solutions

Clearly, this unit links to the material presented in 2.1 Argument and Discussion, but in this case the focus is on paragraph organisation. Teachers may choose to teach these two units successively.

1 & 2 demonstrate alternative methods of responding to the same problem, depending on viewpoint. Students could be asked to write their own solution to the problem of traffic congestion.

3 provides some relevant vocabulary.

4 introduces a new problem (housing) and asks students to rewrite it with an alternative conclusion. It may be worth reading the text through with the class to check that it is fully understood, and breaking it down into component sentences as with 1 and 2 above.

5 & 6 provide further practice. In the case of 6, students need to provide their own problem from their discipline.

2.8 Visual Information

In most fields of study students are expected to include statistical evidence to support their ideas, in the form of graphs, tables, and other devices. This unit illustrates the more common types, but in certain disciplines students may meet more complex examples.

1 asks students to match nine types of visuals with their uses.

2 presents the language of line graphs. Weaker students may have problems with some of the irregular past tenses (e.g. grow/ grew).

3 provides some guidelines for describing charts. For further practice students could be asked to describe some of the charts in 1.

4 explains that correct labelling is important, especially in longer papers with many visuals.

5 & 6 provide further practice with describing tables and charts. Students can be reminded that they should only mention the most significant features of the chart.

Progress Check 2

As in Part 1, these questions can be handled in various ways. They can be given as homework or completed in class. Teachers may wish to assess students’ understanding of all sections of Part 2, or to find out which units need to be revised by certain students. Stronger students might enjoy completing the exercises in pairs or groups.

Part 3  Language Issues

The units in Part 3 deal with areas of written language that tend to be problematic for international students, such as punctuation or the use of the passive voice. As with Part 2, teachers have a choice of teaching units on a remedial basis or linking certain units to Part 1 The Writing Process (e.g. 3.7 Style with 1.12 Rewriting and Proofreading), or referring individual students to appropriate units for revision on a self-study basis.

3.1 Cohesion

1 illustrates the use of reference words to achieve cohesion.

2 requires students to find the reference words in a similar text.

3 highlights a common problem when the overuse of reference words causes a lack of clarity.

4 asks students to insert reference words in a text.

5 explains why certain words may be omitted, something that often confuses non-native speakers.

6 demonstrates why reference words are needed: to avoid clumsy repetition.

7 practises writing a full paragraph, focusing on the cohesion provided by reference words.

3.2 Definite Articles

1 demonstrates the use of both definite and indefinite articles.

2 could be usefully tackled in pairs or small groups, as the task is quite hard. The guidelines that follow cover most situations students are likely to meet in academic work.

3 The focus here is on specific noun phrases such as ‘The Russian climate’. Identifying these seems the best approach to deciding whether to use ‘the’.

4 asks students to insert articles (if necessary) into a paragraph. Note that in some cases (e.g. a) either ‘a’ and ‘the’ can be used; ‘the global leader’ meaning there is only one leader, but ‘a global leader’ is quite acceptable, suggesting several leaders.

3.3 Numbers

This unit can be linked with Unit 2.8 Visual Information.

1 deals with the basic vocabulary of numbers. Non-native speakers often find numbers a confusing topic, so it may be worth providing more examples for weaker students, or practising with simple questions: ‘what’s the population of your country?’

2 many students find percentages a confusing subject, but as they are critical in many areas, they may need further revision.

3 introduces words and phrases which may be used, in certain circumstances, as alternatives to numbers. Students will certainly meet these in their reading.

4 provides a range of expressions which can be used to simplify numerical information. Students should be clear that these are effective in some, but not all, situations. But familiarity with these will improve reading comprehension.

5 gives practice in writing about statistical data.

3.4 Passive and Active

1 demonstrates the main situations in which the active and passive voices are used.

2 gives the structure for forming the passive and asks students to use it to make statements more impersonal.

3 illustrates further academic situations in which the passive is often used, with additional practice.

4 deals with the use of adverbs with passives. With weaker groups it may be helpful to complete this in pairs.

5 shows that the passive can be overused, and asks students to create a more balanced text by changing some to active. Clearly, this can be completed in many ways; the important thing is for students to avoid an overly formal style.

3.5 Punctuation

This unit provides a lot of detailed information which weaker students may find hard to process at first; they can be encouraged to use it as a reference source as their writing develops.

1 – 8 Although some areas of punctuation are in a state of flux, notably the use of capitals, commas, and hyphens, it is still useful to know the rules which apply to most areas. Correct punctuation is important to help the reader understand the writer’s ideas, and is especially critical with lists of references to demonstrate an awareness of academic conventions.

9 This exercise is suitable for completion in pairs.

10 is a demanding task. It may be helpful to tell students to first break it up into sentences and then to add other punctuation marks.

3.6 Singular or Plural?

1 highlights the main difficulties international students have in this area. In the exercise explain that in b it is the children being vaccinated, not the majority! (see note in 2).

2 All these issues tend to confuse students (including native speakers at times).

3 Another difficult area. Note that there is a tendency in American English to use some of these nouns as countable (e.g. behaviours, accommodations). This is not so common in British English but students can be told that they may encounter exceptions.

4 revises some of the nouns discussed in 3.

5 may be usefully completed in pairs, especially if students are finding the topic difficult.

3.7 Style

This is one of the most critical areas students encounter, and also one of the hardest to teach. This is partly because different disciplines may employ somewhat different styles. The guidelines in this unit should provide an indication of what is acceptable, but in the end students have to develop their own version.

1 contrasts an example of a poorly written paragraph with the same ideas expressed in a more academically acceptable style. Most of the errors highlighted are explained in 2.

2 In academic journals it is quite easy to find examples of these guidelines being broken!  However, if students attempt to follow these guidelines they should avoid major pitfalls.

3 provides examples of poor style. Students could first work with a partner, and then rewrite the sentences individually.

4 Repetition and redundancy are often caused by carelessness and failure to re-read work critically. Good writing balances concision with providing sufficient detail. Note that the exercise contains some material which is irrelevant to the subject and hence redundant.

5 On balance it is better for weaker students to write shorter sentences rather than attempt to link too many ideas together. This exercise suggests a balanced approach.

6 Caution was previously discussed in Unit 2.6 Generalisations. Although there are situations where it is inappropriate, in general a cautious style is worth developing.

7 practises the common modifiers.

8 These sentences can be made more cautious by using the language explained in 6 and 7.

3.8 Time Markers

1 This section should be revision for most students. However, accurate use of time markers is critical in many writing contexts. If students appear doubtful about any of these it could be worth asking them to write further example sentences.

2 revises the material in 1.

3 The difference between phrases like ‘last year’ and ‘in the last year’ is explained.

4 First study the biographical details to ensure clarity. The gap fill should be completed individually as a check on understanding.

5 Before completing this gap fill it may be worth checking comprehension of phrases such as ‘disposable income’.

Progress Check 3

As for Progress Check 2.

Part 4  Vocabulary for Writing

As an introduction to methods of developing vocabulary, Unit 4.1 Approaches to Vocabulary could be usefully taught in class. But if time is limited, it may be better to set other units as homework or use them on a remedial basis, or for self-study as needed.

4.1 Approaches to Vocabulary

1 The text highlights some frequent issues in vocabulary learning, such as idiomatic language. It is designed to alert students to the variety of language they will encounter.

2 encourages students to be selective in which words they try to learn.

3 presents some useful vocabulary for discussing language features: not all of these need to be learned, but students will encounter most of these in their studies. Ideally their meanings should be discussed in pairs.

4 practises this vocabulary. Unless the students are very strong it would be better to attempt this in pairs again.

5 presents some of the commonest sources of confusion. It is also important to practise the pronunciation of these pairs: ‘site’ and ‘sight’ are homophones, but ‘lose’ and ‘loose’ are quite distinct.

6 These are commonly used in certain disciplines (e.g. International Relations and Politics) but not all students will encounter them.

4.2 Abbreviations

1 & 2 Although abbreviations can be found in a dictionary, most students will find it helpful to be familiar with the commonest ones. This list offers a brief selection.

3-5 This second list should be learnt to make sense of reading academic texts, in addition to students’ own writing, especially with references.

6 The exercise could be supplemented by examining a newspaper to show the diversity and frequency of abbreviations in everyday use.

4.3 Academic Vocabulary: Nouns and Adjectives

1 & 2 The list of nouns is not exhaustive but offers a useful starting point. Students should discuss each with a partner so they feel confident in using them in their work. Note that the synonyms given in the Answer Key may not have exactly the same meaning.

3 These related adjectives should be easy to understand given the previous

exercise on nouns. But writing example sentences is a demanding task and could be attempted in pairs or groups.

4 & 5 The adjectives in the table are quite common but can still cause problems, so are worth revising.  Students should be able to tackle this individually.

6 & 7 Learning adjectives in pairs of opposites is an efficient method. Students can be asked to write further examples to practice any adjectives they are unsure of.

8 & 9 provide further practice with nouns and adjectives.

4.4 Academic Vocabulary: Verbs and Adverbs

1 focuses on the rather formal kind of verbs often used in academic work. Students need to learn to identify main verbs as the key to understanding sentences. The exercise should be attempted in pairs. Note that as with the nouns, not all the synonyms provided in the Answer Key are exact.

2 – 5 Verbs of reference have been introduced in Unit 1.8, and more examples are given here. Weaker students may benefit from completing 3 in pairs.

6 Adverbs have been mentioned in Unit 3.4 in passive forms, but this is a more comprehensive guide. Students do not need to memorise all the examples, just to understand their main uses in written work.

7-8 provide practice in using the adverbs from the table in 6 at sentence and paragraph level.

4.5 Conjunctions

1 Most students will be familiar with conjunctions, but this section illustrates the use of conjunctions to link chunks of text together.

2-3 The six types of conjunctions are illustrated here. Working in pairs, students should be able to complete the table in 3 with plenty of examples.

4-5 Students will find it easier to complete these exercises if they can identify the type of conjunction needed (e.g. 4a needs a conjunction of time).

7-8 Conjunctions of opposition often cause difficulty in written work: word order can be especially confusing.

4.6 Prefixes and Suffixes

1 Explain to the class that a knowledge of prefixes and suffixes can help expand their vocabulary. Ask them to suggest further examples of words containing both.

2 Students may find the exercise difficult, so the task could be done in pairs.

3 These words are both recent and quite uncommon, so using the prefix for understanding is critical.

4 While suffixes play a smaller role in establishing meaning they are very helpful for identifying word class. Students can be asked for further examples of words with meaning suffixes.

5 & 6 Note that these exercises test comprehension of both prefixes and suffixes.

4.7 Prepositions

1 & 2 International students often find the use of prepositions in English illogical. This unit presents six uses of prepositions so that students can identify a pattern in the usage.

3-6 present further practice with common prepositional use. Much of this material is likely to be revision in an academic context.

7 & 8 The list of verbs and prepositions is not exhaustive but covers some frequently used examples. Encourage students to record other similar verbs with their prepositions when encountered.

4.8 Synonyms

1 Synonyms have been mentioned in Unit 1.7. Explain to the class that exact synonyms are rare (e.g. in the exercise ‘largest’ has a somewhat different meaning to ‘giant’). However, for practical purposes one can be a synonym for the other.

2 The matching exercise is quite demanding. This could usefully be done in small groups to encourage discussion.

3 practises words from the table in 2.

4 provides further examples of the use of synonyms in a short text.

5 requires students to find suitable synonyms in a paragraph.

Progress Check 4

As for Progress Check 2

Part 5 Writing Models

The aim of this part is to provide examples of some of the work that students may have to complete. Clearly, which units are taught will depend on the kind of courses that students are preparing for; case studies will be more important for students of Business than for History students. Unit 5 Writing Letter and Emails should be of general interest, while Unit 6 Writing in Groups is included since some subjects require students to produce written assignments for assessment in groups.

5.1 Case Studies

1 The matching exercise provides examples of the possible scope of case studies. Asking students about the disadvantages or limitations of these could be done after reading section 2.

2 Many students will be familiar with IKEA, which should provide some context for this example. The final questions could be discussed in pairs or small groups.

5.2 Literature Reviews and Book Reviews

1 The topic has been introduced in Unit 1.9 Combining Sources, but this section provides a longer example.

2 Some students may need an introduction to the subject of motivation: ask questions such as what motivates them to study at university? Emphasise that this is just a section from a longer paper and would probably be found after the introduction.

3 & 4 Only postgraduate students are likely to need to write book reviews for journal publication. These sections provide a guide, but it is also worth reading examples in the relevant journals.

5.3 Writing Longer Papers

1 Organisation is the key to successfully completing longer papers, which typically have a time frame of eight weeks or so. It is worth emphasising the importance of starting to write a draft fairly early in the process. Note that not all the features included in the table c will be needed in every paper.

2 The topic of nuclear energy should be familiar in outline to most students. The essay should be read as homework in preparation for the lesson, but there is no need to understand all the technical details. At about 2,500 words, this is a fairly short example, yet it includes the important components.

3 provides revision of many of the topics covered in this course and can be completed individually or in groups.   

5.4 Reports

1 & 2 Although many students will not be asked to write reports, this unit provides an introduction for those who are. In some fields, more detailed guidelines for report writing may be given. The exercise in 2 provides examples which should make the distinction between essays and reports clear.

3 The first part of this section is a simple re-ordering exercise, which could be done in pairs. The second part, writing the rest of the report, is better completed individually.

4 provides guidelines for writing a basic scientific report.

5 asks students to complete a short report of a student survey by gap-filling with appropriate words from the box. NB: some of the language being practised here (e.g. ‘questionnaire’) is specific to surveys.

5.5 Writing Letters and Emails

1 & 2 Most students will need to write formal letters at some point, as well as sending emails on academic matters. This unit provides guidance and practice with suitable formats. Explain that letters are still used to provide a more formal record of an arrangement.

3 – 5 Although students today use many different varieties of social media communication (e.g. Facebook), email is still a convenient and general system.

5.6 Writing in Groups

1 The text explains the rationale for this unit, which clearly will not be relevant to all students.

2 In keeping with the theme of this unit, this exercise should be completed in pairs or groups. 3 & 4 Although quite basic, the task is more usefully discussed in groups. If time permits, a good follow-up to this unit would be to form groups of four or five and ask them to complete a short research project involving a written report of about 500 words.

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