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Module QXS-4002:
Academic Writing & Grammar

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

10 Credits or 5 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Miss Debbie Garlick

Overall aims and purpose

This course, available only to non-native speakers of English, aims to review and develop students English language competence in grammar and academic writing. It enables students to review the English grammar system and to examine the writing process with a view to identifying and resolving individual problem areas. It enables students to become familiar with BU academic writing conventions and thus to perform more effectively in their own research writing.

Course content

This module encourages the development of grammatical accuracy and academic writing skills within a research context. There are 2 strands; firstly to review the English grammar system, especially grammar for academic writing and work on individual problem areas and secondly, to develop appropriate academic writing skills for posygraduate academic writing.

Course content (Writing)

  • Accuracy in writing
  • Planning writing
  • Paraphtrasing
  • Academic style
  • Hedging and cautious language
  • Synthesising sorce materials
  • Using appropriate register in writing
  • Citation conventions
  • Reviewing and proof reading your work
  • Using reading in writing

Course Content (Grammar)

  • Noun phrases
  • Article use
  • Verb tenses
  • Linking words
  • Modals
  • Conditionals
  • Complex sentences and clauses
  • Relative clauses
  • Other student problem areas

Assessment Criteria


Pass 50% A student has achieved a good standard in English grammar and writing in coursework and examination relating to the learning outcomes above (equivalent to IELTS 6.5)A student shows the ability to produce good written English for a variety of purposes and in a variety of registers and has good awareness of structure, content, style and grammatical accuracy, although there may be some minor lapses in adherence to academic conventions and register. There are only a few errors in grammar and/or format but most are identified and self-corrected and do not interfere with the communication of ideas. Writing may be ambitious in terms of structure but this may not be fully fulfilled.


Excellent 70% A student has achieved an excellent standard in English grammar and writing in coursework and examination relating to the learning outcomes above (equivalent to IELTS 7.0 or above). A student shows the ability to produce excellent written English for a variety of purposes and in a variety of registers and has very good awareness of structure, content, style and grammatical accuracy. Writing closely follows academic conventions with appropriate register. There is evidence of effective error identification and self-correction with accurate use of sophisticated structures in writing. The communication of ideas is clear and effective.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of this module, students will:

    1. Have improved their ability to organise and write theses and other written academic assignments in correct and appropriate English and according to BU conventions.
    2. Be aware of BU academic conventions in writing and be able to conform to them.
    3. Have raised awareness of personal errors in English and strategies for overcoming them.
    4. Have developed the skill of proof-reading & self-correction.
    5. Be aware of plagiarism and how to avoid it; and be more confident in appropriately incorporating information from source materials into academic writing.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Essay 50
Essay 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Seminar 100

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: