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School of Mechanical Engineering Language Development and Support

Effective writing is the strongest link in the chain linking you, your ideas, your purpose and your audience.

Types of help available

Planning, organising and phrasing journals, theses, presentations and other types of writing as well as preparing for seminars and School oral presentations can cause stress for all of us, whether our first language is English or not. If you find these elements challenging, there are a number of ways to get positive, supportive help through the University.

  • Careers and Research Skills Training
    Offers a range of face-to-face programs, individual consultations, formal language and research courses as well as online resources which are tailored to the needs of specific groups of students. Look at MyUni to find out if any suit you, or visit the CaRST.
  • The Writing Centre
    Provides practical advice and strategies to help with academic learning and academic language for local, international, undergraduate and postgraduate coursework students enrolled at the University of Adelaide.

    It offers practical advice and strategies for students to master reading, writing, note-taking and referencing techniques for success at University. The drop-in service is not an editing or grammar checking service but will help with written English. It is open between 10:00 am - 4:00 pm Monday to Friday, on Level 3 East, Hub Central.

    The School of Mechanical Engineering also offers a range of language help, specifically tailored for HDR Engineers, from formal workshops and seminars with Margaret Cargill, Dorothy Missingham and Alison-Jane Hunter to individual/pair and group appointments with Alison-Jane. All forms of writing, presenting and language issues can be supported, by appointment.

How to get help

  • Language workshops and seminars
    These will be advertised twice a year and be taught in groups. Sign up as soon as you see the notifications. In first semester, there will be a series of Workshops on offer, tailored to Engineering Publication. These will cover structure, language and tips as to how to get your work published.

    The format will tend to be two major sessions of four hours, two weeks apart, with extension Workshops following one week after each session. In second semester, there will be three, three hour sessions, focusing on typical writing issues for HDR students.
  • Individual help sessions
    Whether you are writing for a journal or your thesis, preparing an oral presentation or a grant request, you may well need help with structure, technical accuracy and form or mode of expression. If this is the case, ask your supervisor to email Alison-Jane Hunter (and cc you as well) to arrange a one-to-one session. Please give a few times when you are available as Alison works part time for Mechanical Engineering.
  • Emergency support
    If you are desperate and working to a tight timeline, contact Alison-Jane for support by email. When sending your request, please include a brief outline as to the type of help needed, including but not limited to, journal writing, thesis or proposal writing and oral presentations. In addition, please specify an approximate timeline for the work, to ensure that help is timely as well as individually tailored to your specific needs.

    Finally, please ensure that you list any previous courses you have undertaken in language skills and other help you have accessed so that we move forward efficiently, without re-covering work covered elsewhere. Please be aware that you may be required to undertake one or more of the formal courses offered by one of the University services in conjunction with these consultations.
  • How responsive are these help sessions?
    All of these sessions are designed with your learning development in mind. They derive from issues which have arisen in individual and group writing meetings throughout each semester as well as the core issues for publication and formal presentations. You can make sure they are exactly what you need by arranging a meeting in advance and putting your own requests forward.
  • Is there more?
    It is highly recommended that you purchase or borrow Writing Scientific Research Article“Writing Scientific Research Articles”. It is a brilliant textbook for reinforcement and extension of your learning.
  • Contact information
    Alison-Jane is available most days by appointment. You may be lucky and find her in her office, but an appointment made at least 48 hours in advance is the best way as it allows her to plan her time effectively:



School of Mechanical Engineering

Engineering South, L1


T: +61 8 8313 5460
F: +61 8 8313 4367