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Resources for academic writing

Here is a collection of links to useful resources for students doing coursework or thesis writing in English.


Student writing in a notebook. Photographer: Viktor Gårdsäter

Photographer: Viktor Gårdsäter

Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab (OWL) is a comprehensive writing resource with guides to various features of academic writing, grammar, citation styles and writing for specific subject areas. This is a good one-stop shop for information on academic writing in English.

OWL - Purdue University

Strunk’s Elements of Style is a classic work on style in written English. While it does not specifically deal with academic style, it is nevertheless a valuable reference for academic writing. An older edition is freely available through the link below and newer editions are commonly available in libraries.

The Elements of Style

The Harvard College Writing Center has a range of useful resources on aspects of essay writing and essay structure, as well as guides to using sources and writing in different disciplines. Their website is especially useful for tips on how to approach the different components of academic essays and for guidance on the writing process.

Harvard College Writing Center

Together with information on features of academic writing and a blog with writing tips, Uppsala University’s Scriptor website features a collection of commented student texts from a variety of disciplines and covering a range of assignment and thesis types. The collection of student texts is a great resource for students who want a better understanding of the English-language work they are expected to produce in Swedish academic contexts.

Scriptor - Uppsala University

AWELU (Academic Writing in English at Lund University) is a guide to English-language academic writing for both students and professional researchers. This is another good Swedish resource for issues relating to grammar, referencing, the writing process and academic integrity.

AWELU - Lund University


A simple way of improving the readability of your work is to improve the structure of paragraphs. Looking at paragraph structure can also help you understand how you have structured your text overall. Here are some links to help you think about what paragraphs can or should look like in academic writing:

On Paragraphs - Purdue University

Elementary Principles of Composition - the Elements of Style

Paragraph Structure - the University of Hull

How to Write a Paragraph - Scribbr

Paragraphs - Solent Online Learning


Saying only as much as you need to and staying on topic are two things that help to make your writing clearer for the reader. Here are some articles with tips on how to write concisely and avoid redundancy:

Avoiding Redundancy and Improving Readability in Research Writing - Enago Academy

Writing clearly, concisely and precisely

Revising for style - Duke University

Writing Concisely - the University of North Carolina


A number of characteristics distinguish academic writing from other forms of writing. These guides provide useful advice on key features of academic style:

Academic Style Guide - Duke University

Academic Style - Deakin University

Academic Language - Monash University


If you are writing in English as a second or other language it can be useful to have clear and accesible guides to grammar at your fingertips. Here are some recommended links:

The Internet Grammar of English - University College London

Grammar Girl - Quick and Dirty Tips

English Grammar 101


One of the most frustrating things about writing in a second or other language is not having the same variety of words at your disposal. Here are some links to academic word lists and to apps you can use to study them:

The Academic Phrasebank - the University of Manchester

The Academic Word List - Victoria University

New Academic Word List - Memrise

Academic Word List - Anki

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