Academic writing and communication skills

Your academic writing and communication skills are a crucial part of your studies and essential skills to have in the workplace, regardless of your chosen career. Outlined below are a number of courses, opportunities and techniques available that help you to develop and enhance these skills. The Academic Skills page is a good place to start if you're unsure about certain skills or tasks.

Upcoming programs and opportunities to assist you with your writing and communication skills are listed on the Graduate Research professional development and training portal.


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Writing programs

There are many opportunities to hone your academic writing skills. Writing workshops, programs and sessions designed to support your thesis writing include:

  • The Academic Skills Hub provides courses on developing graduate academic writing. Follow the link to hub to see what courses are currently available.
  • Shut Up & Write: A group writing session that uses the effective Pomodoro techniques

iThenticate Similarity Report

In preparation for your confirmation, you are strongly encouraged to use iThenticate for any substantial piece of writing (eg a thesis chapter, a section of a chapter, or the written progress report) early on in your studies. The value in doing this is to make sure that you have a solid understanding of scholarly norms and citation requirements from the beginning of your studies. Avoiding plagiarism is crucial for academic and professional success.

iThenticate is a text-matching tool that enables researchers and graduate researchers to compare their traditional research writing drafts with an extensive database of research literature. Using iThenticate throughout the writing process can help to identify and address potential instances of problematic matching text and weak writing practices. All Graduate Researchers will have iThenticate accounts created for them from the week beginning 4 February and will receive an activation email from noreply@ithenticate.com with login instructions.

Please note that iThenticate does not judge plagiarism. It only identifies areas of writing that match text from existing literature within its database. It is then your and/or your supervisor's responsibility to inspect the matched text and identify whether it has been correctly referenced, if there are issues for further discussion, or if they can be safely ignored as 'false positives'.

If you're having trouble, submit a request for assistance for assistance in ServiceNow via Student Services. A Research Integrity Officer and/or discipline specific Research Integrity Advisor will get in touch to provide advice and tools to address these concerns with an educative response.


Communicating my research

Both your graduate research studies and your future career require effective communication and presentation skills. The following list of resources, workshops and programs are designed to help you improve these skills:

  • Speaking and Presenting: Resources for presenting your research, using PowerPoint to your advantage, presenting at conferences and helpful videos on presenting effectively
  • Research Impact Library Advisory Service (RILAS): Helps you to determine the impact of your publications and other research outputs for academic promotions and grant applications
  • Three Minute Thesis Competition (3MT): Research communication competition that requires you to deliver a compelling oration on your thesis topic and its significance in just three minutes or less.
  • Visualise your Thesis Competition: A dynamic and engaging audio-visual "elevator pitch" (e-Poster) to communicate your research to a broad non-specialist audience in 60 seconds.

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