Undergraduate Writing Skills for the Humanities and Social Sciences

The details
Student Development
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 04 October 2018
Friday 28 June 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module is available in Autumn Term and again in Spring Term. It provides academic literacy training at first year undergraduate level, with a particular focus on the connection between reading and writing for academic assignments. Tasks and source materials are tailored to suit the requirements of students in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

In the Autumn Term the module focuses on reading and writing about complex texts, and building discursive arguments. In the Spring Term, a range of texts from across the disciplines are examined in order to explore what makes good academic writing.

Module aims
To help you master the skills required for successful academic study as follows:
- Explore the conventions of writing within your course discipline, and others
- Develop your ability to express ideas with clarity, elegance and precision
- Improve your written language accuracy in terms of style, sentence structuring, punctuation, word choice, spelling.
- Help you to self-asses strengths and weaknesses in your academic writing; to allow you to explore strategies for improving areas of writing which may otherwise restrict your academic achievement
- Develop your skills in critical reading and accurate note-taking
- Give you practice in synthesising ideas from sources and in developing a well reasoned argument
- Provide advanced practice in paraphrase, summary writing, use of quotation and in-text referencing.

Module aims

No information available.

Module learning outcomes

No information available.

Module information

Learning support

All materials relating to the class content and module assignments are made available through a dedicated Moodle.

Learning and teaching methods

A two-hour class meeting each week and individual tutorials. Syllabus Mechanics of good writing at word, sentence and discourse level (punctuation; complex sentence structuring; precision in lexical choice; appropriate style and register for academic writing) Common surface errors in student writing: identification and correction, editing and proofreading Following the argument: understanding academic discourse; developing critical reading skills Assignment research skills: the library and the internet. Note-taking: strategies and common problems in taking notes from reading and in lectures; writing up notes for essays and for exam revision Effective argumentation: the role of critical thinking; distinguishing fact, claim and opinion Analysing assignment titles: identifying key words and answering the question set Structuring an academic essay: approaches and common problems; consultation, revision and redrafting processes, the recursive nature of academic writing Bringing together ideas from several sources: making connections and synthesising information Writing from sources: using summary, paraphrase and quotation to support thesis and argument; acknowledgement of sources through in-text citation and bibliographic references


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Participation - SP    5% 
Coursework   Assignment 1 - AU  02/11/2018  5% 
Coursework   Assignment 2 - AU  03/12/2018  12.5% 
Coursework   Assignment 3 - AU  14/12/2018  7.5% 
Coursework   Assignment 4 - AU  14/12/2018  5% 
Coursework   Assignment 5 - AU  18/01/2019  15% 
Coursework   Assignment 1 - SP  06/02/2019  6.67% 
Coursework   Assignment 2 - SP  20/02/2019  6.67% 
Coursework   Assignment 3 - SP  06/03/2019  6.66% 
Coursework   Assignment 4 - SP  20/03/2019  5% 
Coursework   Assignment 5 - SP  26/04/2019  20% 
Practical   Participation - AU    5% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
0% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr David Rush, email:
Dave Rush; Adam Wattam



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 40 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Student Development

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