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Academic Writing

This guide provides information about academic writing resources

Welcome to the Academic Writing Guide

This guide is designed as an information resource for all students, regardless of course or subject, with advice on the skills needed and available support to help you succeed in studying at ECU.

This guide introduces academic writing, which can be defined as  "clear, concise, focused, structured and backed up by evidence" with the purpose to aid the reader's understanding.  Academic writing has a formal tone, style and each subject area has its own style of writing, vocabulary and discourse types. The main feature of academic writing consists of reasoned and substantiated explanation or argument, supported by evidence from the literature. e.g. books, journal articles, government reports. 

During your studies, your academic writing skills will develop and form into written communication that is:

  • Planned and focused: answers the question and demonstrates an understanding of the subject.
  • Structured: is coherent, written in a logical order, and brings together related points and material.
  • Evidenced: demonstrates knowledge of the subject area, supports opinions and arguments with evidence, and is referenced accurately.
  • Formal in tone and style: uses appropriate language and tenses, and is clear, concise and balanced.

How to use this guide

Guide content is on the left hand panel as a list of tab headings. Click to select a tab heading to view information on that topic, or use the navigation points at the end of the page to move to the next or previous heading. Selecting an active link will take you directly to the resource - this can be a book available in the library catalogue or a link to a web page.

Academic Skills Centre

Do you want to improve your skills in academic writing, reading and note-taking, essay writing, referencing and more? The Academic Skills Centre has a range of free academic skills workshop delivered on campus and online. Check the program on the Academic Skills Centre community site and register your attendance:

For assistance with Academic Skills, contact the Academic Skills Centre:

Library Service Centre

Librarians are connected with each school at Edith Cowan University. For subject specific queries you can contact the library for expert help on sourcing, evaluating and using information resources. If you need to contact the library, please refer to the Contacts information at the end of this guide or email:

Semester 2: Academic Skills Workshops


University of Leeds. (2018). Academic Writing. Retrieved from

Academic Integrity

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is an aspect of academic literacy and a foundation of success when studying at university. Academic integrity addresses the values that reflect honesty and rigour in academia. It is about respecting others' work and intellectual property.

Throughout your studies at ECU you will be assisted in the process of how to find and use your own academic voice and given opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge appropriately in an academic setting.

Academic writing needs to show your own work and reference sources accurately. Failure to do this may result in academic misconduct.

To assist with your learning there will be teaching of referencing, paraphrasing, and how and when to quote a source. You will need to have a basic understanding of academic integrity and APA referencing (or AGLC citations for law students).

There are penalties for students who knowingly plagiarize, collude, or use the work of others with or without their knowledge. Please refer to the ECU Academic Misconduct Rules for further information.


Academic Skills Centre

Whether you are a new or continuing student,  there are support services are available to assist you with academic writing.

For assistance at any time, access the Academic Skills Centre. You will need to log in using your ECU login and password. This is a community site with information on where to go for help, attend a workshops or drop in session, and contact learning advisers for help. There are workshops for academic and English language skills and unit specific workshops to assist you with assessments and your university study.

Academic Tipsheets

For tips and advice on a range of topics from essay writing to time management, please visit the Academic Tip Sheet library.

Blackboard Academic Skills Community Site

For help at any time, log into into Blackboard Learning Management system with your ECU Login and password and click on the Academic Skills link in the communities section. Access Academic Skills Resources for a a range of resources, courses and tasks that can assist you with academic writing.

You can contact a Learning Adviser by email (ML and Joondalup queries) and (Bunbury queries), attend assignment drop-in sessions and skills workshops that commence in week 2 of semester.


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Edith Cowan University acknowledges and respects the Nyoongar people, who are the traditional custodians of the land upon which its campuses stand and its programs operate.
In particular ECU pays its respects to the Elders, past and present, of the Nyoongar people, and embrace their culture, wisdom and knowledge.