English for Academic Purposes

Grammar and Academic Style

This course will concentrate on revisiting and further developing your knowledge of English grammar and looking at how you might use it more accurately and appropriately, particularly in the context of academic writing.

We will also investigate ways in which certain aspects of grammar can be used to improve the style of your written academic work, making it more cohesive, coherent, and appropriately formal.

On completion of the course you should have gained a clear understanding of how to improve your English at sentence level, and beyond, and how to make your writing more stylistically suitable for university-level work.

Listen to an audio description.

Course Outline (Intermediate)
WeekCourse Content
1 Singular/Plural and Subject-Verb Agreement.
2 Sentence Types, Part 1 (simple, compound and complex) and the use of conjunctions (discourse markers). 
3 Sentence Types, Part 2 (simple, compound and complex) and the use of conjunctions (discourse markers).
4 Formative practice test. Individual feedback given by lecturer. Problematic areas identified and students directed to online practice tasks.(LO7)
5 Word Formation, Part 1. Prefixes and suffixes, word class, the noun phrase.
6 Word Formation, Part 2. Prefixes and suffixes, word class, the noun phrase.
7 Style rewrite. Students rewrite a non-academic text in a style appropriate for academic writing. The rewritten work is analysed by others in the group and changes made if necessary. The final work is presented in class leading to a discussion of common pitfalls.(LOs 4 & 7)
8 Academic Style. Guidance regarding style requirements in academic writing.
9 Verb Tense, Part 1. The most common tenses in academic text.
10 Verb Tense, Part 2. An overview of other tenses/aspects + the passive voice
11 Exercising caution.
12 In-class Grammar Test.

 

Course Outline (Advanced)
WeekCourse Content
1 The Structure of the Sentence, Part 1. Helping students to achieve greater cohesion and coherence in their work by the use of simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.
2 The Structure of the Sentence, Part 2. Helping students to achieve greater cohesion and coherence in their work by the use of simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.
3 Punctuation. The role of punctuation is to make the text you write clear and easy to read. Defective punctuation can make a text very difficult to understand, and even lead to misunderstanding. This session addresses these important issues.
4 Formative practice test. Individual feedback given by lecturer. Problematic areas identified and students directed to online practice tasks.(LO7)
5 The Division of Time, Part 1. Locating the situation, action or event in an overall time frame.
6 The Division of Time, Part 2. Locating the situation, action or event in an overall time frame, and Cautious Language ('hedging'): avoiding inappropriate definitive statements/claims.
7 Style rewrite. Students rewrite a non-academic text in a style appropriate for academic writing. The rewritten work is analysed by others in the group and changes made if necessary. The final work is presented in class leading to a discussion of common pitfalls.(LOs 4 & 7)
8 Writing: Academic Writing. Nominalisation and other miscellaneous style tips.
9 Voice. The uses and functions of the passive in academic writing, and the use of personal pronouns, particularly the first and second person.
10 Text Cohesion: Discourse markers. The grammatical and lexical means by which written sentences/paragraphs are joined together to make cohesive texts.
11 Reporting other people’s research. Helping students to report accurately what other writers have written through the appropriate selection of reporting verbs and associated grammatical considerations.
12 In-class Grammar Test.