English for Academic Study: Extended Writing & Research Skills – Course Book

Joan McCormack and John Slaght


A university preparation course published in collaboration with the University of Reading.

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ISBN: 9781908614308

Upper intermediate to proficiency
CEF Level: B2 to C2  IELTS Level: 5.5 to 7.5+

Product Description

English for Academic Study: Extended Writing and Research Skills

This fully updated 2012 edition of English for Academic Study: Extended Writing & Research Skills will help develop the practical skills you need to tackle extended essays and projects and encourage the development of an independent approach to studying.

The units are organized as follows:

  • Introduction to extended writing and research
  • Using evidence to support your ideas
  • Sourcing information for your project
  • Developing your project
  • Developing a focus
  • Introductions, conclusions and definitions
  • Incorporating data and illustrations
  • Preparing for conference presentations

The units take you step by step through the process of producing an extended piece of academic writing. Authentic source materials, model answers and detailed advice are included to help support and guide you. This course will require you to apply skills and strategies you have already studied in order to help you complete a project independently.

The Course Book includes unit summaries to give you a quick overview of what you have covered, and a comprehensive glossary of terms. Each unit also has weblinks offering additional information and activities, relating to both listening skills and the topics covered in the units. Visit the dedicated English for Academic Study website at www.englishforacademicstudy.com for even more resources.

This book can be used in conjunction with the following books in the English for Academic Study (EAS) series, also published by Garnet Education: EAS: Reading & Writing Source Book, EAS: Reading, EAS: Writing, EAS: Speaking, EAS: Listening, EAS: Vocabulary, EAS: Pronunciation, and EAS: Grammar for Writing.

Format: Paperback


i. Introduction
1. Introduction to extended writing and research
2. Using evidence to support your ideas
3. Sourcing information for your project
4. Developing your project
5. Developing a focus
6. Introductions, conclusions and definitions
7. Incorporating data and illustrations
8. Preparing for conference presentations
g. Glossary
a. Appendices:
Appendix 1: Sample project
Appendix 2: Self-evaluation checklist
Appendix 3: Taking notes
Appendix 4: Source texts
Appendix 5: Symbols and abbreviations
Appendix 6: Compiling a bibliography

Author details

Joan McCormack is the Director of the Self-Access Centre at the University of Reading, and works as an EAP Lecturer and Course Director. She has worked in Japan, Peru and Spain, and has been involved in the field of EAP for the past 12 years.

Her areas of interest include the development of materials for teaching extended academic writing and research skills, as well as fostering the development of learner autonomy in students.

Joan is co-author of two of the titles in the English for Academic Study series: Extended Writing and Research Skills and Speaking.

John Slaght has worked at the University of Reading in a variety of capacities since 1988 and currently works in the EAP department. He is Director of Assessment and Test Development in the International Study and Language Centre at the University. John has co-authored two books in Garnet Education’s English for Academic Study series: Reading and Extended Writing and Research Skills.

John has extensive overseas experience in Higher Education, having spent a total of 14 years teaching English, History and French in Africa, and Academic English in the Middle East. His work continues to take him to various areas of the globe. John is currently piloting a book of preparation materials for the Test of English for Educational Purposes and is planning further publications on Academic Reading and Language Testing. Currently, his responsibilities in testing include test administration and writing. He has been an item writer for Cambridge ESOL for a number of years and is regional team leader on a marking panel.


“If I had to choose one coursebook for a 3-credit point course, it would be the Extended Writing & Research Skills course, which I found the most helpful of all. Most of our students need these skills, no matter how good their English is, and any support given to them in this area would also be appreciated by the harassed supervisors of their papers and theses.”

Margaret Oertig for ETAS Journal, Summer 2013

“This course book is for ESOL students taking the step up from the typical 250-word argument essay to university level writing. It will also provide excellent guidance to native speakers of English who have done no extended writing. Although it is a course book, it could also be used as a handy reference for a scholar who feels rusty with, for example, APA referencing, or for someone preparing their first poster presentation. The clear layout and pink detailing please the eye, making the somewhat daunting task of research and lifting writing skills for dissertation more achievable.

The University of Reading has trialled the contents of this course book for more than ten years. The authors have settled on a format for a ten-week course. In the first four weeks, the students do a scaffolded project where the readings are supplied. In the following six weeks, students choose their own research topic, decide upon their own readings and write up their project while simultaneously working through the course book. The course aims at developing independent learning. Many aspects of extended writing and research are mentioned in the first units to be built on in later units. The first task looks at critical thinking. Unit 2 turns to reading, guiding the student towards selective reading for the purpose of supporting their thesis. This leads on to note-taking, summarising, paraphrasing, referencing, and caveats against plagiarism.

Unit 3 goes into more detail about selecting sources and the structure of the finished project. Information from the Internet is dealt with here. Students are advised that they need “Title, Authority, Currency and Content” (p. 45) before using a site.

Practice at writing a bibliography comes next and then samples are given of in-text referencing, direct quotations and summaries. This sort of information is available elsewhere in reference books, but rarely is it set out so clearly (pink on pink!) (pp. 49 - 50). Referencing is, of course, the legal side of plagiarism. This course book gives generous space to both sides of the coin. A useful exercise is presented in Unit 4, where, following an extract from an environmental science text book, students have to judge five student examples of incorporated texts as either “Quotation”, “Paraphrase” or “Plagiarism” (pp. 56 - 57). In another exercise, students are placed into the tutor’s role and have to give advice on how to avoid plagiarism to imagined students who have given excuses beginning with “I didn’t know…” or “In my country…” No way could students using this course book misunderstand the seriousness of plagiarism, the temptation of plagiarism, or the personal vigilance needed against it.

The features of abstracts and their usefulness are discussed next, followed by introductions and conclusions. In Unit 5, the student is shown how to go about choosing a topic and establishing a focus within that topic. The authors recommend a ‘working title’ that can change as research continues to a specific title (p.72). The last two units look at incorporating data into academic texts and presenting findings at conferences. Clear, colourful graphs and tables are given, which the student is required to insert into a written text. The aim is always to support the text. Tips are given on preparing PowerPoint slides and public speaking. The glossary gives definitions of 50 academic terms, and one of the six appendices is a self-evaluation checklist summarising what the book has been teaching. This book is thorough, reflecting the experience of its authors. My only reservation is the light treatment given to time management. Perhaps with the amount of information and the number of tasks given, the need for good time management becomes evident.”

Kathryn Henderson for the TESOLANZ Newsletter, December 2013