Literacy knowledge and skills


Writing in an academic context is different from writing in other situations. Academic writing follows specific conventions of structure, style, and content, and your marker will expect to see these conventions in your assignments.

We encourage you to review the Academic writing section of the Online Writing and Learning Link (OWLL) web pages to familiarise yourself with the requirements and to get a feel for what is involved. The Academic writing e-book also has useful information on how academic writing is different to other types of writing that you may be familiar with. If you are new to academic writing you may want to consider only enrolling in one or two courses until you build up your skills.

For an example of the type of writing you might be expected to produce see the Sample assignments on the OWLL website.


Reading will be something you will do a lot of when you are at university. You will be expected to read provided course material as well as other material you source for yourself. 

Even if you are an avid reader there are different skills involved in reading academic articles than those for general reading. It can take some time to get used to the language and digest the content. Keep this in mind when planning assignments. To start with it will likely take you twice as long to complete the reading as you expect. But the good news is that it will become much quicker the more you practice.

For hints and tips for managing your reading see the Reading section of the OWLL website.

For an example of the type of reading you might encounter search the Library category for academic articles in your subject area.


If you are thinking of studying internally then you will be attending classes. They may be formal lectures, tutorials and laboratories. It is really important that you practice active listening techniques and have good note taking skills such that your notes become prompts to remember key aspects of what was said.

For hints and tips on listening and note taking see Note-taking in lectures on the OWLL website.