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Academic writing and proofreading

Writing is the main way in which you show your understanding of a particular topic or concept in your course. It is important to work on improving your writing skills as, in most courses, you are assessed on your written work.

Academic writing

At university you are expected to use an academic writing style. To do this, you should:

  • write in full grammatical sentences
  • keep your writing formal and in third person
  • express your ideas in a clear and concise way
  • base your writing on research rather than personal opinion
  • use correct spelling and punctuation
  • reference any information sources you use

The Academic Success Package provides you with more information on academic language.

Sentence structure

Poor sentence structure distracts your reader and interrupts the flow of your argument, which may impact on your final result.

The Academic Success Package has resources to assist you in identifying common errors in sentence structures.


Taking the time to proofread ensures that you pick up spelling, punctuation and grammatical mistakes which can still occur after using spellcheck.

Try using this Grammar Proofreading Checklist to help you check for common errors. 

Further assistance

24/7 Online tutors

Online Smarthinking tutors can review your work and offer customised support. This service provides feedback on strengths and areas for improvement, a distilled revision plan, and targeted comments embedded directly in your submission. Smarthinking however, does not proofread, edit or fix student work.

Academic Success Package

The Academic Success Package will connect you with a list of strategies, including a range of online 24/7 resources, to assist you with your specific academic writing query.