Course Description

Listen to what UCSB freshmen have to say

Take this on-line course from the comfort of your home before you come to UCSB. Preparation for Academic Writing will:

  • Increase your academic vocabulary 
  • Sharpen your writing skills 
  • Help you prepare for the English Language Placement Exam (required for all international students who have not already satisfied the Entry Level Writing Requirement.)

Most international students need increased proficiency in academic writing to get good grades in the required general education coursework, which includes courses such as History and Art Appreciation. These grades go on the final transcript.

Letter to Parents

Read a letter from our Dean Dr. Bob York, UCSB Extension, explaining the importance of this on-line course your child can take before coming to UCSB (English and Chinese)

Check out these writing Samples from Different EMS Writing Class Levels: 

Student Testimonials

“Linguistics courses have helped me a lot in my writings and my effort has paid off.”

– Zihao Zeng

“I would recommend new students of UCSB to practice writing, reading, and analyzing on a daily basis to enhance linguistics skills.”
– Sherry Xu

“When I was in high school, there [were] few restrictions of the topic of writing …. However, as I went to college, I [had] to make my expressions as accurate as possible, and this usually requires a lot of grammar and vocabulary.”
– Zishuo Zhao


Learner Outcomes

Through readings, videos, online lectures, and written exercises, students will learn:

  • Sentence, paragraph, and essay structure development
  • Strategies for taking written exams
  • Writing skills for success in course assignments
  • Academic reading skills in the humanities, social sciences and STEM fields
  • Critical reading and summarizing to support analytical writing
  • Grammatical, lexical, and rhetorical strategies for clear expression
  • Skills using internet-based tools for academic purposes


Units earned in this course do not apply towards degree credit at UCSB, but rather serve as academic preparation. This course is strongly recommended for incoming students who are not native English speakers, and has been developed specifically to better prepare students for the rigors of academic coursework at UCSB.

In partnership with:



Coming soon!  We are planning to offer this course in the near future. Please click on Request Information below that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.