Academic writing

Academic writing will be a part of your studies here at MDU, and it is possible to improve your own writing using an array of online tools. Below some free and useful links are listed, that will help you work independently on your writing.

First, make yourself acquainted with the software provided by MDU for writing support. Here you can download SpellRight External link., which is a more precise spellchecker than the one in Word, and TorTalk External link., which is a service that can read your text out loud, making it easier to find your own mistakes and incongruences in your text. Make sure you are logged on to your student account to be able to download these programs.

Help to structure your essay

To structure your essay properly, the first step is to find out if your program has a template that you can follow, to get the overall structure. Here is a lecture on global editing. External link.

Evolve your language skills

A part of your structure is sentence structure, External link. and you can always google that for further information and lectures. Linking words External link. are important for the cohesion of your essay. (Also known as transitional expressions External link..)

To get help expressing yourself in the correct register the academic phrasebank External link. is useful.

Making references correctly

When making references according to your given reference system, you may find this resource on verbs for citing External link. useful, as well as this source with more verbs. External link.

Academic genres

Here is a resource on academic genres, External link. that may help sort things out. Here is a list of common errors External link. with a lot of examples of common language mistakes that may make you aware of your own mistakes.

Writing guide of academic writing

The punctuation guide External link. is useful, as well as the writing guide External link. that is specifically designed for writing academic texts in English in Sweden. Many students find Grammarly External link. a good help while writing. The Purdue Online Writing Lab External link. may have a lot of answers to your writing questions, and here you can find a resource External link. for the different aspects of academic writing in English.

Critical thinking and analysis

Many students find it difficult to grasp the concepts of critical thinking and analysis, and of course there are useful resources for that as well. What is critical thinking External link.? Here is an instructional video on the matter, that may clarify things. Here is a presentation on critical thinking External link. with good points and useful information.


Different kinds of dictionaries are useful for making sure you use appropriate language for the given context, as well as the correct grammar and spelling. There are several excellent online dictionaries:

Exercises to help you improve your English

If you suspect that your level of English needs a raise, there are resources that may help with this. Find out your English level and get exercises designed for that level at British Council External link.. At Cambridge English External link.you can practice your English with different exercises, and you can also take a test and find out your level here External link.. BBC Learning English External link. is a sight that will help you with your general English skills. Your level will probably be “Towards Advanced”, but if you find that too difficult, you can start with the “Upper-Intermediate”. Here External link. you will find writing, speaking and grammar exercises

Online courses

There are excellent online courses aiming to help with your academic English, and the MOOC from the university of Lund on academic writing External link. is recommended. If you do not have time to take the entire course, the lectures only can be found here. External link.

Other courses available are English composition External link. for reading and writing skills, and English for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics External link. (STEM) for improving English skills in science. Here External link. is a free course on academic writing, and this External link. is a course specified for writing a thesis.

Are you a student and need help with your academic communication?

Meet the language educator from Lärum. Get answers to your questions about academic writing. You can also meet a librarian that will help you if you have questions about information retrieval or reference management.

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