A few weeks ago I pointed out Manchester University’s academic phrasebank to students in a lecture. If you don’t know about it (you should!) it introduces lots of different ‘academic language chunks’ that you can use in essays such as In the last few years there has been increasing interest in ….. At the end of the lecture one of the students asked me if they should reference the phrases they used from the academic phrasebank. This worried me! It showed me that the student had no real idea of the concept of referencing and the sort of things we reference and the things we don’t. Most of all the experience reminded me that students (in fact all of us) generally learn things slowly over a long period with lots of exposure to the same ideas repeated again and again in different ways. So here’s a page of interesting resources from the Association for Academic Language and Learning in Australia. I particularly like the second link: A visual guide to essay writing. The ideas are not necessarily new for me, but are presented in an original way which made me think about essay writing all over again.