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The University of Southampton

PRES0025 Academic Writing (Pre-sessional LTTC Taiwan-Southampton)

Module Overview

This module is non-credit bearing and forms part of the LTTC Taiwan-Southampton Pre-sessional Pathway. Part 1 is based at the Language Training and Testing Center (LTTC) at National Taiwan University and Part 2 is based at the University of Southampton. On this pathway, you study academic speaking, listening, reading and writing, and also attend independent learning workshops to further develop critical thinking and study skills necessary to succeed at the University. The academic writing module is taught in conjunction with the academic reading module as these skills often overlap; for example, your knowledge of how to write coherent paragraphs will be an important tool when reading and processing information from your sources. As a result, you will be expected to practise a range of skills in the same class. You will follow the LTTC Reading and Writing syllabus for your studies in Taiwan (part 1) and the University of Southampton Pre-sessional Course B Reading and Writing syllabus for your time at the University of Southampton (part 2).

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The academic writing module is part of an integrated programme designed to enable you to learn and practise the academic writing skills you will need to succeed in your future university study. Throughout the module, you will be strongly encouraged to develop your independent writing skills so that you are prepared for the challenges of the written assignments you will be expected to undertake in your future course of study.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Use appropriate writing strategies for your purposes
  • Plan and structure your writing effectively
  • Paraphrase, summarise, synthesise and use quotations to reference correctly from your sources
  • Use academic language appropriately and effectively in written work
  • Produce essays with appropriate content
  • Employ critical writing strategies to convey your evaluation of information and ideas obtained from your sources
  • Use learning strategies to continue to build grammatical accuracy and vocabulary range


PART 1: LTTC TAIWAN WRITING SYLLABUS The writing syllabus on part one of the Pre-sessional Taiwan-Southampton Pathway (at the LTTC) focuses on developing writing skills that you will require for successful study at a UK university. It focuses on sentence, paragraph and essay level writing features, and integrates these features into a final composition. Areas that you will cover include: • Recognising features of academic writing • Avoiding typical problems in sentence structure (e.g. fragments) • Understanding subordination and control placement of important information • Recognising different types of sentence and clause structures • Identifying and producing well-structured paragraphs, introductions and conclusions • Making paragraphs more coherent (e.g. through use of transitions) • Recognising the differences between plagiarising, citing, paraphrasing and summarising • Effectively conveying cause-effect and compare-contrast relationships • Making writing more concise with adjectival clauses • Using a variety of sentence types and complex structures to and understanding where to use them • Using structure and vocabulary to appropriately offer data commentary • Recognising processes of composition in academic writing PART 2: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON WRITING SYLLABUS (PRE-SESSIONAL COURSE B) A. DEVELOPING A CLEAR AND COHESIVE ESSAY STRUCTURE 1. Using titles, outlines and topic development strategies effectively when planning. 2. Providing a clear introduction and conclusion. 3. Dividing body paragraphs appropriately. 4. Ensuring points are logically ordered, suitably linked and well-supported at paragraph and essay level. 5. Meeting assignment word count. B. USING OUTSIDE SOURCES EFFECTIVELY IN ESSAYS 1. Producing clear, distinct and appropriately balanced use of quotation, paraphrase, summary and synthesis in written work. 2. Incorporating Harvard in-text references accurately and providing a corresponding reference list in Harvard format. 3. Balancing effective source use with original input. 4. Avoiding plagiarism and ensuring compliance with University Academic Integrity policy. C. PRODUCING ESSAYS WITH APPROPRIATE CONTENT 1. Ensuring all parts of the task are covered. 2. Providing relevant factual information/ data commentary and description where necessary. 3. Writing critically to support and strengthen an argument. 4. Using an effective analytical rather than descriptive approach. 5. Showing evidence of own voice and original insight. D. USING ACADEMIC LANGUAGE APPROPRIATELY 1. Developing the ability to explore topics fully and use accurate vocabulary choices, both subject-specific and general. 2. Ensuring style and register is appropriate, academic and consistent. 3. Incorporating appropriate synonym, word-order and word-form changes in paraphrases or summaries. 4. Conveying meaning effectively. E. DEVELOPING GRAMMATICAL ACCURACY AND RANGE 1. Using punctuation accurately and consistently. 2. Showing evidence of range of appropriate simple and complex structures and clauses. 3. Ensuring meaning is not impeded by grammatical issues. 4. Adopting beneficial proof reading strategies to check for common errors (sentence fragment/ pronoun use/ S-V agreement etc).

Special Features

This writing module forms part of the LTTC Taiwan-Southampton Pre-sessional Pathway, and is taught alongside academic reading, academic listening, academic speaking, and independent learning.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will experience a wide variety of teaching and learning methods including: full class teaching; individual, pair and group work in class; set tasks to be completed outside class; use of authentic texts for exploitation; Independent Learning workshops; self-directed independent study and tutorials (normally in pairs with your tutor). You will have weekly tutorials with your class tutor to discuss your progress and will learn how to use the University libraries, including electronic resources.

Resources & Reading list

General resource. Extra reading and writing resources can be found in the Language Resources Centre (LRC) and Avenue Library – both located at Avenue Campus – as well as at the Richard Taunton College and Hartley libraries in Southampton.

Fletcher, C. (2013). Skills for Study Level 3. 

Bailey, S. (2011). Academic Writing for International Students of Business. 

Bailey,S. (2011). Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. 

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL) [online].

LLAS webpage for exam preparation [online].

Academic Writing in English (AWE) Finnish Virtual Language Centre.

Caplan,N. (2012). Grammar Choices for Graduate and Professional Writers. 

Cottrell, S. (2011). Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument. 


Assessment Strategy

Note that summative assessment tasks are conducted in Southampton on Pre-sessional Course B, as the LTTC 5-week Programme is preparatory only (i.e. not formally assessed).




MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  ( words) 60%
Exam  (1 hours) 40%
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