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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Writing modules

Worried about your first assignment? This module will take you through the stages you need to write any assignment. You will look at how to unpack essay questions, analyse assessment criteria, reference correctly, and use sources effectively to support your claims.  This module is perfect for: first-year students, those who returned to university after a break, and international students whose English is excellent but have no prior experience of studying in the UK. 

Key words: planning, drafting, proofreading

In this 5-week course you will not only learn how to draft and structure your writing in an academic way, but also learn how to stay critical, by planning and building arguments, and paraphrase and cite accurately. You will see how thinking and writing in terms of claims, counter claims and refutations will enrich your line of reasoning and strengthen your argumentation. This module is useful for undergraduates and postgraduates from all disciplines who need to write essays, reports or projects and want guidance in how to put their ideas across in a concise and effective manner.

Key words: critical thinking, arguments, avoiding plagiarism 

In order to excel at writing assignments for university, you need to master the basic skills of paraphrasing, summarising, connecting ideas and referencing your sources as well as writing clearly and concisely. These two modules give practice in all these skills and help you to develop your own academic style and voice, improve your argumentation skills and learn how to avoid plagiarism. As these popular modules run in both semesters, you can choose to join the course in the first or second semester as they are two separate courses. However, as PAWS 2 runs in the second semester, you will be encouraged to bring in submitted work with feedback for in-depth analysis and discussion. PAWS classes are suitable for students who have not written assignments at a UK university before and for anyone struggling with written coursework. There are also separate pathways for science and humanities students. 

Key words: planning, incorporating sources, plagiarism 


Have you ever had feedback saying your work is too descriptive or lacks criticality? If so, this is the module for you. Key ideas need a sound structure, carefully presented evidence and clear reasoning to form a compelling argument. In this module, you will unpack the components of an academic argument and practise assessing arguments and counterarguments in different disciplines. You will learn to build a strong line of reasoning and maintain an extended academic argument in your writing. This module is aimed at all students who wish to understand how to express their viewpoints academically, how arguments shape a paper, and how to adopt a more critical approach to their assignments. 

Key words: originality, stance vs. claim, academic precision


This module is for PhD or research students working on research projects. It will cover aspects of the writing process such as structure and readability and it will allow you to develop your ability to evaluate and revise writing. It is more of a hands-on workshop where you can come up with your own ideas and develop them over the semester. You will have the chance to connect with other students on their research journey, receive feedback on your writing and present your ideas in individual tutorials which start after reading week.

Key words: dissertation writing, peer support, writing retreat 


This module is offered to undergraduate students who are in the final stage of their studies, in the process of writing their dissertation/research project, or about to do it. The module addresses the general organisational components of research/dissertation writing, such as the introduction, the literature review, the methodology, the findings, the discussion, and conclusions. This module is divided into alternating input and tutorial sessions over ten weeks: each input session is followed by your attempt to work on your research. The input sessions will combine the theory of research writing in higher education contexts and the analysis of successful samples of dissertations from students at QMUL. 

Key words: kick-start your research, sample dissertations, tutorials


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