Tips for reading academic journal articles

Academic journal articles are perhaps the most difficult pieces of text university students are required to read. They tend to feature the most challenging characteristics of academic text: their density of argument, frequent use of specialist research and references to other studies all combine to form significant barriers to understanding. …

From IELTS to University: The university advice I wish I’d had

Going to university is a challenging time for any young person, and the university years will almost certainly include some life-defining and character-forming experiences for every student. There are some students who have a very clear sense of how to navigate university life, and know exactly how to optimise their …

From IELTS to University: Counter-Arguments with Cats and Dogs

In this post we’re going to explore inserting critical thinking into argumentative essays, using a simple question about pets. It’s important for students to recognise that incorporating different levels of critical thinking into an essay is vital in achieving high grades. So, each of the main and opposing arguments below …

Transforming a model IELTS problem-solution essay into a university-level essay (Part 2)

This is the second half of the IELTS problem/solution model essay which I’ve converted into a university level essay. The analysis provided examines language and structure; the latter focusing on incorporating critical thinking into the essay. As before, a heartfelt thankyou to Christopher Pell at IELTS Advantage for allowing me …

Transforming a model IELTS problem-solution essay into a university-level essay (Part 1)

So this time I’ve used a model IELTS problem/solution essay created by Christopher Pell of IELTS Advantage. His online school and website are excellent for online IELTS teaching and resources, and his approach to training students for the exam is amongst the best available. For this post, I’ve used coloured …

Exploring the differences between an IELTS Band 9 essay and a university essay (Part 2)

This post continues a comparison between an IELTS Band 9 essay and a university essay started in a recent post. In that previous post I examined the introduction and the first main paragraph, but here I’m analysing the second main paragraph and the conclusion whilst continuing to focus on language …

Exploring the differences between an IELTS Band 9 essay and a university essay (Part 1)

So, in this post I’m going to convert the first half of an IELTS model essay (written by IELTS Simon) into a university level essay and highlight some important differences. Hopefully, this will provide an introduction to the requirements of academic writing at university. The introduction and first paragraph presented …

From IELTS to University – inserting critical analysis into essay conclusions

One of the differences between the kind of essay taught for academic IELTS and the kind of essay expected at university is the level of critical analysis required. At its most basic level, critical thinking involves skillfully presenting and summarizing opposing arguments and evidence; however, a successful student should go …

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