1 - Work on your writing

  • Leave time to revise and redraft.

2 - The basics

  • Paragraphs should have one clear topic and stick with it.
  • Consider the visual effect of your writing – are the paragraphs clear?
  • Avoid overlong sentences.

3 - Integrate your research – make sure it

  • Supports your point.
  • Flows in your writing.
  • Uses paraphrase as well as quotation.
  • Is referenced correctly.

4 - Expand your vocabulary

  • Make a note of new or specialist vocabulary when you are reading.
  • Consider the audience for your writing and adjust the vocabulary.

5 - For more advice on writing styles and language see

6 - If English is not your first language

7 - If you are, or think you might be, dyslexic visit

The Compass in person or Online.

Language - Grammar

  • British Council

    All areas of grammar

    A general resource that looks at lots of different grammar areas.

  • Articles

    A resource that focuses on articles.

  • Cause and effect

    A website that explores different ways of expressing cause and effect.

  • Comparing

    A website that looks at different ways to express comparisons.

  • Conditionals

    This website provides simple explanations of the four types of conditionals, with an exercise to practise them at the end.

  • English Tenses

    English Tenses is a website that focuses on different verb tenses.

  • Linking words

    This website will help you check the real function of linking words.

  • Modals

    The aim of this resource is to help you write tentative sentences using modals.

  • Oxford Grammar for EAP

    Short, easy- to- read explanations are followed by exercises to help develop academic style and accuracy with sections on areas such as paraphrasing and making your writing flow (connectors).

  • Passive voice

    This slideshow page is to explain and give practice on the passive voice.

  • Prepositions

    Interactive exercises on prepositions, particularly focussing on prepositional phrases found in academic writing.

  • Relative clauses

    Find out the difference between defining and non-defining relative clauses, and reduced relative clauses.

  • Subject-verb agreement

    Help with more difficult subject-verb agreements.

  • Verb patterns (to/ing)

    Exercises on verb patterns, particularly focussing on gerunds and infinitives.