Comparing useful language to talk about academic writing

Work together to give advice on these aspects of academic writing:



Interest/ Readability

Language (grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, spelling, etc)




Persuasiveness/ Strength of arguments

Process (planning etc)



References/ Using sources


Time management


Use the ideas under the fold to help extend your discussion.


Possible subcategories


 British academic English/ American academic English


 prefixes/ suffixes

 terminology/ jargon


 single quotation marks/ double quotation marks

 full stop/ period

 comma/ semi-colon

 semi-colon/ colon

 semi-colon/ dash

 dash/ hyphen

 dash/ brackets

 round brackets/ square brackets

 round brackets/ parentheses


 British spelling/ American spelling


 claims/ statements


 plan/ first draft

 introduction/ abstract

 chapter/ section

 paragraph/ section

 diagrams (e.g. graphs and charts)/ figures

 conclusion/ summary

 list of references/ bibliography

 list of references/ further reading

 footnotes/ appendices

Process (planning etc)

 brainstorm/ mind map

 editing/ proofreading


 article/ (academic) paper

 (academic) (peer-reviewed) journal/ magazine


 essay/ (academic) paper


 academic writing/ semi-academic writing

 academic vocabulary/ informal vocabulary

 bullet points/ numbering

 abbreviation/ acronyms/ contractions

 title/ heading

 quotes in quotation marks/ quotes as indented paragraphs

 quoting/ paraphrasing

 “One”/ “You”

 “I”/ “The author”

 questions/ rhetorical questions

 italics/ bold/ underlining

 blank line/ indent

 using sources/ plagiarism

Ask any questions you like about the vocabulary and issues above.

Most of the words and expressions next to each other are different in some way. Discuss together:

1. How similar or different they are

2. What the differences are

Useful language

 absolutely/ almost identical

 exactly/ almost exactly/ practically the same

 surprisingly/ very/ quite similar

 totally/ completely/ almost completely/ surprisingly/ very/ quite different

 the most obvious/ most striking/ most important/ biggest/ only difference/ similarity

 an obvious/ a striking/ an important/ a substantial/ a slight difference/ similarity

 slightly/ a little/ considerably/ substantially/ quite a lot/ a great deal/ much/ far …er/ more…


Try to remember or think of at least two ways of filling each of the gaps below

_____________________________________________________________ identical


_____________________________________________________________the same






The _________________________________________________difference/ similarity


A/ An __________________________________________________difference/ similarity


__________________________________________________________… er/ more…


Check your answers with the previous worksheet.

Ask your teacher about any expressions above which you don’t understand.


PDF version for easy saving and printing: Comparing useful language to talk about academic writing

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