Learning Centre Publications

The development of this series of publications has arisen out of the need, well recognised by most institutions of higher education, to instruct students in how to write for their varied academic purposes.

For a copy of our brochure, or to purchase or order any of these publications, please contact the Learning Centre.

Writing practice for university students

Writing an Essay in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Webb, C. (1991) $55.00

This title is a three part volume comprising a general introduction, a workshop manual for the student, and a set of workshop leader's notes and transparency masters. It has four units entitled: How to be analytical; How to use evidence; How to develop an essay structure; How to develop an argument. The units, taught over three hours per unit, include practice exercises.

The course aims to instruct students to write an essay typically set for assessment in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It would benefit undergraduate students and Master degree by coursework students. They may be native speakers of English, or of a language other than English, but they are expected to have sufficient proficiency in English to be able to participate in group discussions.

The workshop manual for students is copyright free for educational purposes, so that a teacher need only purchase one copy of the materials.

Writing a Research Paper

Murison, E. & Webb, C. (1991) $55.00

This volume comprises a general introduction, a workshop manual for students and a set of workshop leader's notes. It has eight units including: Professional writing profile; Content, staging and appropriacy; Reporting on the research; Materials and methods; Results and discussion. The units include practice exercises.

The course aims to provide instruction in how to write journal articles and research reports. It would benefit postgraduate research students and academics, whether of English-speaking background or of a language other than English. They are expected to have sufficient 'expert' knowledge about research methods in their fields to be able to transfer generalisations made in the course to their own practice. The units are of varying complexity and represent between 18 and 15 hours of classroom instruction depending on the context of teaching and the participants' levels of experience and language proficiency.

Independent Learning Resources: Essay Module

Webb, C. (Ed.) (1995) $55.00

This essay module has been developed to support students' independent learning and academic literacy skills. The volume includes an 'Introduction to the Teacher', which also contains a diagnostic assessment framework to give a student feedback on an essay, and nine Units with an answer key.

The units include: How to be analytical [What is analysis? and Setting out the relationships]; How to structure an essay [Developing an essay structure and Writing Introductions and conclusions]; How to use evidence [Supporting your argument with the evidence and Avoiding plagiarism]; and How to develop an argument [Being persuasive and Being critical].

This module draws on and adds to material from the workshop manual 'Writing an Essay in the Humanities and Social Sciences'. Both sets aim to develop in students an understanding of some common characteristics of the genres of academic essays in the Humanities and Social Sciences. It focuses on the thinking processes needed to advance the essay through stages of an academic essay. A student can expect to spend between 9 and 30 hours using the units of the essay Module.

Also available....

The Reflective Student

Scouller, K. (2000) $55.00

This manual is designed to encourage students:

  • to reflect upon their current organisational and study skills and lifestyle patterns,
  • to identify changes they would like to make
  • to practise new strategies, and
  • to reflect upon and monitor their progress.

The full set of resources consists of 8 units within 3 modules, preceded by a diagnostic task. The modules are designed so that they can be used in two ways:

  • They can be used by individual students for self-study. The design of the exercises with their immediate feedback facilitates autonomous student use and self-monitoring.
  • They can be used by students in collaboration with a teacher who monitors the students' progress. In this mode students report back to a teacher to discuss their successes and any difficulties they are having in practising and applying new strategies to their own learning context.

English Speech Practice

Drury, H. (1992) Book and 3 Compact Discs $55.00

This course aims to improve the pronunciation of advanced learners of English, particularly those from Asian backgrounds studying at university level in Australia. It is divided into two parts: the macro level which focuses on the supra-segmental features of spoken English such as stress, rhythm and intonation; and the micro level which provides practice in some of the more problematic English sounds. Authentic Australian dialogues are used to provide a context for practice. The course can be used for individual study, at home with a cassette recorder, or for class study directed by the teacher in the classroom or language laboratory.

Measuring the Academic Skills of University Students
The MASUS Procedure
download as PDF

Bonanno, H. & Jones, J. (Revised edition 2007) $33.00

This resource package has been designed to assist university teachers in academic departments and learning centres in establishing a literacy profile of their students. It describes the background and development of a diagnostic assessment procedure to measure students' literacy skills shortly after entry to university, and provides guidelines on the design of the assessment task and use of the assessment criteria.

The revised edition includes new material on recent case studies using the MASUS procedure in both undergraduate and postgraduate courses and an update on MASUS related research.

Publications available for students enrolled at the University of Sydney

The Reflective Student

Scouller, K. (2000)

These modules are designed so that students complete the exercises within the materials and obtain immediate feedback and explanation. The modules can be purchased separately or as a set of three.

Module 1: Understanding Yourself
The 2 units in Module 1 are designed to encourage you: to reflect upon yourself as a learner and on your lifestyle; to identify changes you would like to make; to practise new strategies, and to reflect upon and monitor your progress.

Module 2: Being a More Effective Learner
The 3 units in Module 2 are designed to encourage you: to reflect upon your current work patterns and learning style; to identify changes you would like to make; to practise new strategies, and to reflect upon and monitor your progress.

Module 3: Using Planners and Plans
The 3 units in Module 3 are designed to encourage you: to reflect upon your current work patterns and learning style; to identify changes you would like to make; to practise new strategies, and to reflect upon and monitor your progress.

Writing a Laboratory Report

Drury, H. Booklet

This booklet will help undergraduate writers in the sciences (especially Biological Sciences). It looks at the structure and language of the Lab report, and gives models of successful and unsuccessful reports.

Writing a Thesis Proposal

This booklet is useful to all students from honours level to PhD level who are required to submit a proposal. It looks at disciplinary differences between proposals, provides checklists for topic feasibility, looks at the purpose and structure of proposals, and provides several examples from different disciplines.

Skills for Essay Writing

Analytical Writing: This booklet looks at the differences between analytical and descriptive writing in essay assignments. It uses annotated models of student essays to illustrate the differences. Through exercises and explanations it shows you the process of developing an analytical approach to ideas and information. A checklist for your own writing and a key to the exercise is provided.

Developing and Supporting an Argument: This booklet considers what is appropriate evidence for essay assignments and shows you how to recognise the different positions or viewpoints in the evidence. Through annotated models of essays, explanations and exercises, you will work through the process of how to use evidence to develop and support your argument. The booklet also provides a checklist for your own writing, a glossary of terms and a key to the exercises.

Planning and Structuring an Essay: This booklet looks at how to structure an essay logically. It aims to: review general skills and time frames for planning and structuring an essay; develop strategies for structuring essays in a coherent and logical way. The material consists of annotated examples, explanations and exercises. There is a key to the exercises at the end.

Analysing an Essay Question: This booklet will help you develop useful strategies for analysing essay questions. In particular, it aims to: explore the functions of different sections of the question; to analyse the instructions of the question; to look at the relationship between instructions and structure of a response. There is a key to the exercises at the end.