New methods to improve academic writing skills

You must be aware that universities around the world are becoming stricter by the day about the quality of student assignments and dissertations/ theses. Consequently, the rules of academic writing are changing too. Upgrading your writing skills to meet these changes is very important to stay relevant in the writing industry. Below I have listed a few of these changes:

Critical writing is more important than ever

Yes, it is one of the toughest parts of writing. Perhaps that’s why universities have made it mandatory for almost all assignments to have critical analysis now. Recently, we had the case of one student whose assignment required a case study analysis of a multinational company’s international marketing strategy. The writer explained the basic terms and key theories before applying them to the firm. Unfortunately, the word count distributed between theory and application was 50:50. The assignment was rejected outright, and the supervisor commented that the ratio should have been 5:95! Critical review in dissertations was not even mandatory for most universities until now, but today even a 6000-words dissertation demands critical analysis. Read more about our articles on critical analysis to improve your skills.

Super-quick assignments are on the rise

Aiming to improve student assignments, universities have come up with a new way to test students’ writing skills: assignments with super-short deadlines. 1500 words in 12 hours. 3000 words in 24 hours. Sometimes even 4000 words in 24 hours! Most of them are application based assignments or case studies, leaving you with no scope for increasing the word count using theory. Prep yourself for more of such strenuous assignments in the future.

Use university libraries for reference

Most teachers are recommending students to use their own university database or library for writing assignments. They prefer to test your analytical writing skills by restricting you to a limited number of references. This is good news since you won’t have to spend extra hours gathering material for the assignment. Make sure you use university libraries to gain those brownie points!

Learn SPSS to enhance your academic writing

Needless to say, SPSS is the most popular statistical software for conducting the analysis of primary data. No university has yet said that it is mandatory, but it’s only a matter of time before that happens. If you are serious about expanding your horizons in academic writing, you must consider learning SPSS using our new, user-friendly SPSS module.

Use reference managers

Newer ways are emerging to make your academic writing task simpler. One of them is using reference manager software like Mendeley which offer many features for auto-referencing and systematic storage of your data. Most students prefer to have their assignments and papers written with the use of this software, so you are recommended to adopt one of them. Our website offers a free and simple 8-step tutorial to Mendeley. Start using it if you haven’t already!

Change is constant, so newer rules methods of writing will emerge. Make it a habit to adapt to these changes quickly if you want to survive in the academic writing industry.

Priya Chetty

Partner at Project Guru
Priya is a master in business administration with majors in marketing and finance. She is fluent with data modelling, time series analysis, various regression models, forecasting and interpretation of the data. She has assisted data scientists, corporates, scholars in the field of finance, banking, economics and marketing.

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  • How to master the art of critical writing in your research? Critical writing, in technical terms, means "not necessarily writing about the topic in a negative way; it is simply making sure that you have considered all sides of the argument" (University of Cumbria, UK).
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  • What is referencing? Referencing is an essential part in any academic paper. It is important that you cite the source of your borrowed idea and quote. By providing the source you are acknowledging in your paper that you have read the work and have recognized the referred author's ideas.


  1. Teresita C. Baricaua

    i would like to be coached on academic writing so, how shall i get to be i your circle? Thank you for this information. it makes me feel confident that you can help me write my dissertation. I intend to write on something about marketing strategies for our schools in the country nationwide here in the Philippines. I believe we haven’t taken seriously on this in our school system. we are experiencing through out the years a decline of our enrollment both in the basic education and higher education considering the fact of economic melt down all over the world. We are a congregation managing 41 catholic schools in the country and we are all bleeding in terms of making our school viable financially. Thank you so much. God bless!


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