Undergraduate writing skills

For almost all courses at Essex you'll need to write essays. Writing is an essential skill for success in higher education. Many lecturers believe that essay-writing is the most crucial academic skill but the one that students find hardest to master. You can improve your written assignments by knowing:

  • how an academic argument is structured and presented
  • how to incorporate ideas from your reading, listening and debating
  • what is considered good academic style
  • how to express ideas cogently, concisely and persuasively


This booklet is a guide to some of the most common mistakes in academic writing. A solid technical command of language will help you to think more clearly and express your thoughts more effectively.

Referencing guides

Correct referencing is essential in your assignments at Essex. We provide referencing guides for the main styles used by departments at our University.


You should also make sure you understand our University's policy and advice on plagiarism.

Moodle courses


We run credit-bearing modules that you can take as part of your degree.

Undergraduate Writing Skills for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Specifically designed to help you master the requirements of academic writing at university, this practical course will help you through every stage of assignment writing and help you produce your best work.

The module runs in both the Autumn and Spring terms, with 15 or 30 credits. It is available as an outside option for many courses in the faculties Humanities and Social Sciences. If the module is available to you as an outside option, you will be able to see it in Enrol.

Modules for Essex Business School students

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