Academic writing skills

The UniSkills platform is designed to help improve your academic assignment, study, numeracy and digital skills. Each module has a sequence of interactive lessons and exercises that can be done in any order that suits you.

This module introduces you to reading techniques, evaluating the sources you have found, reading critically, and note taking.

This module introduces you to the different styles of writing, the structure and mechanics of sentences, how to use punctuation effectively, the elements involved in essay writing, and how to edit and proofread your assignment.

This module guides you through the basics of paraphrasing, summarising and quoting in your academic work.

What is referencing?

Referencing is a standardised method of acknowledging sources of information and ideas that you have used in your assignments, in a way that uniquely identifies their source.

Referencing is an important part of your academic work. Good referencing:

  • Demonstrates the depth and quality of your research
  • Provides evidence to support the arguments that you are making in your assignment
  • Assists the reader to locate the sources that you have referred to
  • Acknowledges the work of other researchers and helps to avoid plagiarism.

Referencing style guides

The library provides support for a number of referencing styles. However, for this unit you will need to use Chicago 17th Author-Date style. This guide provides guidance and examples on how to format your references in-text and in your reference list.

A note about EndNote There are tools such as EndNote which can help you develop a research library and reference the sources you cite more easily. However, to use Endnote effectively you need to become familiar with your required referencing style. While EndNote will display references in your selected style, it is not able to recognise incorrect or missing data, so you need to be able to correct any mistakes or inconsistencies in your references.

For this reason you are asked not to use EndNote for your research assignment or essay. Later in your studies, when you know your referencing style, you can explore the use of Endnote.