Writing Support

A person working on a laptop

Communicating in an academic style through the written word is a skill you will need to develop to get good grades throughout your University career. Learn how to boost your academic writing here.

Let's get you to the right academic writing support...

I need general help with academic writing skills

  • If you need help with academic writing skills such as breaking down an assignment brief, planning and writing an assignment, demonstrating critical analysis, reflective writing, referencing, understanding feedback, using evidence in your work or how to approach different types of assessment we recommend you take a look at the following Skills eLearning topics.
  • We offer workshops throughout the academic year. They cover a range of topics which will be helpful if you want to develop your academic writing skills. Take a look at our workshop schedule.

English isn't my first language

  • If English isn't your first language then you may benefit from the workshops offered by LEAP (Learn English for Academic Purposes). Their free online English language webinars and support is designed to help you develop your academic English so that your work is of a higher quality.

    LEAP also offer a programme designed for PhD students.

    For more information visit the LEAP webpages.

  • You may also find the British Council's LearnEnglish website useful as a starting point.

I have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)

  • If you have, or suspect you might have, a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD, or any other neurodiverse condition that affects your learning you can contact the askUS Disability and Learner Support service for support with your studies. They support neurodiverse students, provide dyslexia assessments, can develop Reasonable Adjustment Plans and can provide assisting software.

    For more information visit the Disability and Learner Support webpages.

I need help with punctuation, grammar and sentence construction

  • eLearning - We recommend you start by taking a look at our Tools for good academic writing eLearning.
  • Study Guide - Spelling and Apostrophes
  • Wordscope - If you can attend a programme of workshops over five or ten weeks consider enrolling on Wordscope. Wordscope is a programme of tuition with a proven record of helping students to overcome common writing problems such as inappropriate punctuation, faulty sentence structure, and confused paragraphing. The programme is free to registered students of the University of Salford. You can choose to undertake a programme of five or ten workshops. Each workshop lasts 90 minutes. The workshops are delivered on campus or online.

    For more information visit the Wordscope webpages.

I would like feedback on my academic writing

If you would like feedback on your academic writing you can use Smarthinking, an online writing feedback service. Details of how to access this services are in the Smarthinking section of this web page.

Online Writing Feedback Service

Feedback on your academic writing


  • Smarthinking is an online writing feedback service provided by Pearson Education. You can submit writing extracts or drafts to Smarthinking tutors and receive feedback on your writing in areas such as structure and grammar within 24 hours. You will be allocated up to two hours of feedback time which means you can submit around four short pieces or two to three longer written pieces for feedback.
  • Access Smarthinking

    For level 3 and 4 students (foundation year and first year undergraduate), the Smarthinking module has already been added to your Blackboard site.

    For all other students, use this form to enrol on our dedicated Blackboard space. You will see additional guidance on the Blackboard site and a portal labelled 'use Smarthinking' which you need to click on to access the service.

  • Please note the Smarthinking tutors will not be able to provide support with subject specific questions and will not be familiar with your modules or assignments so you will need to submit your question and/or the brief you are working from, alongside your work. Smarthinking offers feedback and suggestions on how to improve your writing however Smarthinking is not a proof-reading service.