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The Australian National University

The craft of academic writing

The prose style of your thesis will affect how readers view the quality of its content, as explained in the initial discussion of style and content. This module then explores stylistic practices to avoid in different contexts of thesis writing, as well as more effective practices to invigorate your writing, ensure clarity and aid rigorous communication of your research. Standard academic practices are subsequently reviewed in terms of appropriacy and consistency, and a comprehensive, self-editing checklist is provided in the 'Wheel of rigour' to help you take control of this process.

Module learning activities 

  1. Engaging more effective style practices
  2. Reflecting on the cumulative effects of wordiness
  3. Taking the ‘wasteline’ test to gauge the quality of your prose
  4. Improving conciseness in thesis writing
  5. Reviewing standard academic practices

Materials needed for activities

A substantial piece of your own writing.

about this site Updated: 25 May 2010/ Responsible Officer:  Head, Academic Skills & Learning Centre / Page Contact:  ASLC