Academic Writing Skills: Reach Your Full Potential

The fact that your classmate can complete their first university essay with closed eyes and achieve a first, doesn't mean you have to be able to do that too. Every student comes from different educational systems, teaching methods and schools. So if you need help with your academic writing skills, here is who you can reach out to for help.

If you take a look around your classroom (or Zoom call), you can clearly see yourself and your peers doing the same course, consuming the same teaching and learning, and taking on the exact same assessments. But what you can’t see, are the many different routes that each one of you may have taken to lead you to your place in your course.

Different life journeys leading you to university can also mean a lot of different skill sets. Which in turn means that, when it comes to submitting your first essays or taking your first exams, you approach might be completely different to the person next to you, due to the different teaching methods in their previous school, their different routines, and so many more reasons. This is normal, and it’s okay.

Assessments and exams prior to university may have looked different from what is now expected of you to complete, and this can sometimes be daunting. If you would like to improve your academic writing skills, or if you find the prospect of your upcoming assignments a little intimidating, the University can help you.

The Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS)

CeDAS offers courses, workshops, information and resources to help you develop your writing, communication, maths, stats and numeracy skills. CeDAS aims to enable all taught students at Royal Holloway to achieve their full academic potential.

CeDAS also provides a Proofreading Scheme. This fee-for-service scheme is for postgraduates who want to have the final draft of a dissertation or project proofed before submission. Work is carried out by private arrangement with professional proofreaders listed on the scheme’s register. Find out more.

The CeDAS team provide a range of group sessions, 1:1 tutorials, drop-ins and resources tailored to studying in your specific subject area. These activities, delivered both online and face-to-face, address key aspects of academic writing and communication, maths, stats, numeracy, and studying independently. Find out more.

Contact Details

For all general enquiries, please email or phone them at +44 (0)1784 443368.

The CeDAS Helpdesk is located in Founder’s West 141, and it opens from Monday to Friday, 10:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00, except Wednesdays, where it opens from 10:00-12:00 only.

Avoiding Plagiarism: an Online Learning Resource

Royal Holloway, University of London has invested in the production of a high-quality, multi-media, 'always-available' online learning resource. 

This 60-minute interactive online course is designed to ensure that students across all discipline areas follow best practice in referencing, paraphrasing and using citations. Many departments will require students to participate in this interactive course as part of their studies, and this participation can be tracked and reported.

Turnitin and how to use it

In addition to the online plagiarism course content, Royal Holloway makes widespread use of Turnitin, the world's leading originality checking and feedback service.

This compares students' essays with a number of web-based resources and provides academic staff with detailed 'originality reports,' which highlight and provide links from student assignments to resources with similar content.


We appreciate the volume of information being sent your way could be quite overwhelming, so we've created a Coronavirus Hub to give you quick links to key advice, guidance, and our latest news updates. With dedicated pages for housingacademic, and welfare advice, as well as links to government advice and College FAQs, it's your one-stop-shop for all the vital information during this time.

The Advice Centre is a free, independent and confidential service for all students here at Royal Holloway. Our friendly, experienced and professional staff will provide a listening ear and offer general and specialist advice. We’re here to support you with a whole range of issues, big and small, and if we’re not the best people to help you with a particular issue, we’ll point you in the right direction.

Email us at with any questions or to ask for a phone appointment.