Module Two: focus on academic writing 1 Features of Register

Activity One:

Now we have looked at some differences between written and spoken language it is time to concentrate a little more on the differences between neutral writing and academic writing.

1) Talk to a partner to decide what you think some of the differences in the two registers are.
Eg. In academic writing you use specialist vocabulary.
2) Follow this link to do some very useful work on Academic writing
Look at the roll over features first and decide what you think they mean before you look at the examples:
Eg. the formality or informality of the language used: look for examples in the texts we used in the last module to see examples of these and then roll your cursor over the feature and you will see more examples.

Activity Two:
Follow this link to see these features in context
1) Read through each of the texts shich have the same message but are written in a completely different register. Decide with a partner what those features are.
2) Click on the red boxes at the bottom to see if you were right.

Activity Three:
1) Before you watch this video discuss these questions with a partner:
a) Who do you think lives on Bishop's Avenue in London?
b) How much do you think these properties cost?
c) What do you imagine life is like here?
d) What do you think has happened at this house?

Now watch the video to check your ideas:

Video by Guy Grandjean and Robert Booth, taken from The Guardian Business Section .
2) Watch the video for a second time and make a short 150-200 word summary of the main ideas.
3) Compare your ideas with your partner and make one final version together.

Here is my sample summary. Look at it and compare it with yours. What do you learn?

Now test yourselves:

Project Two: choose A, B or C
A) Either: choose an article you have been reading for your studies and write a 150-200 word summary of the main ideas in academic English.

B) Or: look at this article from the Guardian about Bitcoin and summarise it in 150-200 words. Use these questions, if you like, to help your comprehension. (This may include looking for information form secondary sources and drawing your own conclusions)
1) What is bitcoin?
2) How does it work?
3) What was the "bug" in the headline?
4) What is transaction malleability?
5) What do you think the future of this type of currency is?

C) Or: write a 150-200 word summary of this video.
Then, post your ideas and the links to your articles or videos on the Summary Writing Project Page in the digital classroom.
Comment on at least one other person's work.

Module Three: focus on academic lexis

Activity One:

1) What is special about academic vocabulary? Discuss this with a partner.
2) This link will take you to a fun site with some serious but fun games to work on academic lexis.
3) Now watch this video and make a note of the differences mentioned between Academic and General English:

Activity Two:

Lexical grammar: the Grammar of Words

Go to the Vocabulary Skills page and look at the work on collocation, language patterns and semantic prosody.


Follow this link to see some things to avoid in academic writing