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Getting in touch

Supporting writing.

Student perspective

"My friends seem to be able to start a little while before and still get a good mark. I start weeks and weeks before, as soon as we get it, and I'm still working on it right to the deadline. My marks are no better than theirs even though I've spent ages on it."

Source: Third year Management Studies student with Academic Support tutor, Feb. 2007.

"I have so many ideas and everything is linked to everything else, trying to put it in some kind of order feels impossible. I shoot off on a tangent and don't realise and then don't know how to carry on."

Source: Third year Archaeology student with Academic Support tutor, Nov. 2006.

In more depth

Teaching methods

Inclusive teaching:

  • Ensure titles for written assignments are available early in the semester.
  • Give explicit guidance, with examples, on what counts as ‘good’ writing in a particular discipline.
  • Be willing to give advice on a student's understanding of the writing task or proposed plan.

Examples of practice

Dyslexia video: "Support for writing skills.." Duration: 1 minute : 46 seconds

Support for writing skills.

"…We offer the argument clinic where we go through key things in structure and argument…we talk about…things you should put in a conclusion and things you shouldn't as well…" (1 min 46s video by Andrew Fisher)

Reasonable adjustments:

  • Allow extended deadlines.
  • Offer follow-up to written feedback e.g. essay structure, referencing conventions.
  • Allow students to record individual tutorials.
  • Don't penalise for spelling and grammar in timed assessments where there is no opportunity to redraft.
  • Be clear when a student should seek advice from Academic Support.

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