Academic writing differs from discipline to discipline. How the writing is structured, and what counts as evidence depends on the discipline or field, such as history, zoology or physics.

Essay Writing Basics

There are some common features of academic essay writing. Essay Writing Basics contains five short videos that explain the core elements of essay writing. They introduce the basics, and give you an idea of the main elements of an essay, including how to respond to an essay question, and how to write a thesis, and topic sentence.

The resources below have been developed to help you understand this process. Read them in order to start planning your next assignment.

  1. Assignment Planning Guide (PDF, 606 KB)
  2. Five steps to unpack your assessment (PDF, 248 KB)
  3. How to understand essay task words (PDF, 103 KB)
  4. Building an argument in an essay (PDF, 161 KB)
  5. 10 features of academic writing style (PDF, 108 KB)
  6. Most common words in academic writing - Academic Word List (PDF, 134 KB)

Assignment Guides

We've developed the following downloadable guidelines to assist you with your university assignments.

Library Guides

Writing, referencing, Endnote and more: see the JCU Library's comprehensive Library Guides for subject specific and generic tips and tutorials.

Oral Presentations

Many subjects use oral presentations as part of their assessment because they test a range of skills that are useful in future careers.

Follow our guide (PDF, 119 KB) and treat every presentation as an opportunity to sharpen these skills.