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Abstract

"This paper introduces two online academic writing tools which should help address two common feedback problems at ECU. Undergraduate students often consider that they receive little appraisal of the style (including grammar), rather than the content, of their academic writing. In contrast, many research students frustrate their supervisors by failing to learn from detailed corrections of their writing style. I independently developed a coding system for specific types of style errors, as have other academics and editors. The more significant innovation is the much more expansive interactive web tool which matches the numbered fault types to multi-layered explanations of each fault, complete with corrected examples. Feedback can involve highlighting the problem text and providing the fault number with or without further editing for style; the latter approach is time-efficient while also fostering self-reliance. In writing workshops I also promote independent learning by only teaching a few of these faults intensively and challenging students to master the rest by exploring the interactive web tool. While feedback on these tools from academic writing clients has been encouraging, convincing more academics to trial these tools with their students could help provide valuable appraisal of their usefulness."

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