The Oxbridge Editing Blog 18th April 2024

Top Resources to Improve Your Academic Writing Skills

18th April 2024
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Academic writing is a vital skill for students and researchers alike, and refining this skill requires access to valuable resources that enhance proficiency and clarity. This blog post explores some of the top resources to improve your academic writing skills, ranging from phrasebanks to online courses and feedback from editing services.

The Basics of Academic Writing 

Academic writing has a specific style and structure tailored for scholarly communication. Here are some fundamental principles to keep in mind:

  • Clarity and Precision: Academic writing prioritises clarity and precision. Use clear and concise language to effectively convey your ideas without unnecessary complexity or ambiguity.
  • Formal Tone and Style: Maintain a formal tone and academic style in your writing. Avoid colloquial language, slang, or overly casual expressions commonly used in everyday communication.
  • Structured Organisation: Academic papers typically follow a structured format, including an introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion. Organise your ideas logically and coherently within this framework.
  • Critical Analysis and Evidence-Based Argumentation: Support your arguments with evidence from credible sources. Academic writing emphasises critical analysis and the use of evidence to substantiate claims and conclusions.

Resources that Help Students with Academic Writing

Navigating the intricacies of academic writing can be challenging, but there are valuable resources available to support students at every stage of their academic journey. From tools that enhance vocabulary to courses that refine writing techniques, these resources play a vital role in improving academic writing skills. 

Phrasebanks and Phrasebooks

Phrasebanks and phrasebooks are valuable tools that provide ready-made phrases and expressions commonly used in academic writing. They help writers incorporate academic language effectively and enhance the coherence of their texts. Examples include the Academic Phrasebank from the University of Manchester, which offers a wide range of phrases for different sections of academic papers.

Academic Word Lists

Academic word lists contain essential vocabulary specific to academic writing. These lists highlight words and phrases commonly used in scholarly discourse and help writers expand their academic vocabulary. Resources like the Academic Word List (AWL) developed by Averil Coxhead are widely used to improve vocabulary for academic purposes.

Guidelines from Writing Centres

Many universities and colleges offer writing centre resources that provide guidelines and tips for academic writing. These resources cover various aspects of writing, including structuring essays, citing sources, and improving overall clarity. Check with your institution’s writing centre for access to valuable resources tailored to academic writing.

Online Courses and Workshops

Online courses and workshops focused on academic writing offer comprehensive training and guidance for improving writing skills. Platforms like Coursera, edX, and Udemy host courses on academic writing, covering topics such as grammar, style, and research paper writing techniques.

Feedback from Editing Services

Professional editing services play a pivotal role in enhancing academic writing quality. Skilled editors provide comprehensive feedback and valuable suggestions to improve the clarity, coherence, and overall effectiveness of your written work. 

They offer insights into sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and adherence to academic conventions, ensuring that the content meets rigorous scholarly standards. By receiving feedback from editing services, you can refine your writing skills and produce polished academic papers that demonstrate professionalism and credibility. 

Writing Samples from Your Field

Analysing writing samples from your specific field of study can provide insights into disciplinary conventions and writing style preferences. Have a look at published papers, theses, or dissertations to observe how successful academic writing is structured and presented in your area of expertise.

Also Read: How to Improve Your Essay Writing Skills


In summary, developing academic writing skills is essential for students and researchers to communicate effectively in scholarly contexts. Take advantage of phrasebanks and academic word lists, but also consider online courses if you need comprehensive training on grammar, style, and research paper writing. By utilising these resources, you can refine your academic writing skills and contribute meaningfully to scholarly discourse.

Are you looking to refine your academic writing skills and receive expert feedback? Our professional editing services offer personalised guidance to improve your writing clarity, coherence, and overall impact. Get in touch to discover how our editors can assist you in achieving your academic writing goals and producing high-quality scholarly papers.