Academic writing

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ESL/EFL writing instruction has traditionally been conducted within one or more of these approaches, though more often these days a combination of at least two of these are used.

  1. Traditional approach: Product-driven approach, often prescriptive and based on the grammar-translation method
  2. Genre approach: Different paragraph forms, leading to a whole essay
  3. Process approach: Learning to approach writing as a process; writing based on a descriptive rather than prescriptive understanding of writing
  4. Lexical approach
  5. Writing across the curriculum: A combination of genre and process approaches that has students examine and learn from examples of the writing that is typical of their field


Typical issues dealt with in modern ESL/EFL writing classes include the following.

  • Topic sentences
  • Thesis statements
  • Introductions
  • Writing style in one's field
  • Writing process
  • Transitionals, a.k.a., connectors, discourse markers, connectives, conjunctions
  • Paragraph forms
  • Vocabulary issues, e.g., collocations, prepositions, phrasal verbs
  • Grammar issues, e.g., articles, prepositions

Pages about these topics will be added over time.


See also: Academic writing resources.