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Students can polish their academic English and improve their grades at workshops run by the Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use
Many students struggle when it comes to writing their BA project or thesis. It is the first time they are confronted with the task of having to write an academic paper. One of the challenges for students, especially for those who aren’t native English speakers, is having to write in formal academic English.
The goal of the Centre for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use (CIP) is to help those students. The CIP offers a range of support, from one-on-one language learning to one-day intensive language workshops for students.
“I attended the workshop to gain further confidence in written academic English. Everybody can benefit from it. It especially helped me to express myself more clearly”, says economics student Peter Vallebo.
Academic English is much more than long words and even longer sentences. It is a formal style with its own set of conventions, vocabulary and structure. Different academic fields have their own writing conventions and styles. A humanities paper is written very differently from a biology paper.
Nina Rasmussen, an academic language consultant at CIP, runs workshops tailored to specific study programmes. The workshops are practical and hands-on, with real life examples and exercises. Students can submit their papers to receive feedback on how to improve their writing style.
“I found Nina’s workshop really helpful. She explained things in a scientific context, which made a lot of sense. Furthermore, her feedback on my own writing was really useful”, says Peter who received the top mark ’12’ for his thesis.
Academic writing is a skill that can be learnt. But like all skills, it takes practice. While using long, latinate words may look impressive, they can make a text seem too wordy. Students should aim for simplicity and coherence.
For those students looking for help, Nina Rasmussen offers some sound advice.
“You can’t edit a blank page, so the first step is to write as much as you can, then edit it.”
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