Skills Improvement

Writing Skills

A major part of academic work involves writing and research. A distinction needs to be made between business writing and academic writing. It takes practice to become skilful in both types of writing, but often academic writing follows a more structured process where the style of writing and presentation are important. In business writing, it is more important to separate the thinking and writing processes, to distinguish between the major and minor ideas and to work out their relationships. Our cognitive and critical thinking skills have a direct impact on our writing, because it is clarity of thinking that produces higher-quality work.

Learning to think critically is important for everything we do, yet most people do not receive any training in this area. Sometimes it is also important to address personal, emotional or affective issues if they are having an impact on our writing or thinking ability.

Research Skills

Most academic institutions in the UK require students to complete a project, thesis or dissertation in full or partial fulfilment of the requirements for a degree. Most students find this task difficult and strenuous, because the underlying assumption that they have adequate knowledge to complete it is not always true. It is assumed that students will be able to work alone for the most part, be able to understand research and have good reading and writing skills. Where these skills may have been acquired is not always specified or obvious.

Research skills include knowledge of research methods and statistics. Nevertheless, most students have difficulty understanding the methodology and results sections of research articles. By reading the beginning and the end of the article, they try to guess what has been presented in the results section. We can work with you to help you understand statistics and results sections in order to improve your own writing.


Presentations are a powerful way to communicate your message to a group. All too often, however, the presenter is unable to connect with the audience. In particular, sharing detailed information is not good use of a presentation, as audiences will not remember detail.

Presentations can be used to:

  • Persuade the audience to take a particular course of action
  • Convey something you want the audience to know
  • Find out how people are reacting to a situation or an idea
  • Gain commitment and alignment
  • Get an audience to participate in designing a solution to a problem

There are many different types of presentations, including sales presentations, product demonstrations and business plans.

We can help you understand your audience before you prepare a presentation and identify the areas you need to focus on. The content and visual aspects are equally important and we can work with you on both of these to enable you to deliver a compelling and effective presentation.