Guided Learning: Academic Writing for AT and SET

This topic guide is here to guide you in using TU/e SkillsLab while writing up your research for your AT or SET project.

1. Use the Thesis writing self-assessment document to guide you while writing. Even though you are not writing your thesis now, this document can help you with the structure of writing in general. Each section of a research report is broken down into its essential components as well as the language typical to that section. You can also find an example of each section in which both structure and language is highlighted. Take the assessment here.

Use these resources that accompany the self-assessment to view an example of each section in which structure and language is highlighted.  

                  Example of an Abstract

                  Example of an Introduction

                  Example of a Method section

                  Example of a Results section

                  Example of a Discussion section

2. Read Becoming a Better Academic Writer for tips on how to get started and become a better writer.

3. Use the content in the SkillsLab library to find other resources that you need. Both the guided learning sections as well as the Skills library can lead you to a vast range of resources for general academic writing. Search with tabs such as verb tenses, use of sources, paragraphs, punctuation etc.

Here is a taste of some of the useful resources that you can find in the SkillsLab library:

  • Academic style

This document provides some tips on how to ensure your style of writing is at the required academic level.

  • The Academic Phrasebank

This website is an excellent resource to use while writing your report. The academic phrasebank is organized according to the main sections of a research paper. The sections and the detail provided can be used simply to assist you in thinking about the content and organization of your own writing, while the skeleton phrases can easily be incorporated into your writing where appropriate.

  • Verb tenses: past, present or future

For more information on tense usage and whether to use past, present or present perfect tenses in various sections of your report, these documents can help you.

Verb tenses in English.

Verb tenses typically used in different sections of research reports.

  • Vocabulary

Words that go together or collocations

A group of two or more words that usually go together are known as collocations.

The words make and do are prime examples of why collocations are so important, and as you can see, make and do are perfect examples of verbs that go together with specific nouns.

Scientist can do research but they cannot make research.

One can make a difference but one cannot do a difference.

Perhaps you are uncertain which prepositions to use with do research.

Is it do research on a problem, do research in a problem, or do research into a problem?

The following two websites can help answer your questions and help determine which words go together.



Type the word research into either of the search engines and what do you find?

                  Research into a problem.

4. Ask for guided peer review

Use the guided peer review tasks in the SkillsLab library to ask fellow students to review a piece of your writing. For feedback to be helpful, there are a couple of things to consider: Your writing improves when feedback is limited to only a few aspects per draft. Furthermore, your writing improves more quickly when you apply the feedback straight away, rather than waiting until the end of the writing process.

Remember, peer review is not only beneficial to receive but it is also beneficial to give; it teaches you to become a critical reader and ultimately, a better writer.

Finally, if you still can’t find the answer to your question, don’t hesitate to ask by contacting