Worldwide market nowadays has changed a lot leading to the increase in demand for
everything. In order to survive the storm of demands, people must learn and train harder to create
more opportunities now and in the future. For that reason, academic skills, especially advanced
academic skills are so much necessary. The advanced academic skills can be academic writing,
reading, researching, working in group, and referencing, etc. Such skills can be acknowledged by
many ways, but learning in school gives people more benefits.
As a student of an economic university, I understand the importance of these skills as well
as have chances to acknowledge which help me in school and in future career. In this paper, I
discuss four main advanced academic skills that I learnt during the courses including planning,
reading, group work, and writing. To make it more specific, I would give explanation, reflection
and analysis about these skills. Class activities helping me improve these skills would be included
as instances. Further, I would discuss how I have applied these skills in my study. Finally, I would
give the future plan to attribute them in future career.
Before giving the specific about four academic skills that I learnt, I would give basic
explanation about academic skills. According to Brenda Krenus (2011), academic skills are skills
needed to perform activities related to reading, writing, problem solving, etc. that bring success in
school and future career. Such skills can be pre-academic or advanced. While pre-academic skills
could be learnt at prior years of a student, advanced academic skills are learnt in senior years in
university helping people to be a more effective learner and developing research skills for future
life. As a student in an economic university, I have learnt various advanced academic skills such as
reading, referencing, group working, researching, planning, and academic and evaluative writing,
etc; four among of which that I have applied very well. These four skills including planning,
reading, group working, and academic writing are discussed specifically as below.
2.1 Planning skill.
The very first skill that I mention in this page is planning skill, especially time
management skill and investigative study planning. I believe that without a good planning skill,
people cannot manage their life well. Theoretically, M. Yuonne Estelle-Marie (2009) stated that
planning skill refers to ability to organize an accomplish goals effectively in order to avoid mistakes
My life would be messy if I have no plan for current and future life, and that is what I
mastered while following instructions of classes in university. To me and other people, strong
planning skill definitely significant. Peter Capezio (1999) believed that good planning skill, then
help create opportunities for future project. For example, the corporate businesses would not be
interested in a company if that firm does not have a specific plan for developing products or
assuring the future of the firm. Having good skill in planning also affect other skills of mine. For
instance, I could not manage to balance my study life with social life if I was not a good time
manager. Then I was failure in having a critical thinking and writing. In addition, with strong skill
in planning, I am more creative and pursue better options for life (Sarah L. Friedman & Ellin
Kofsky Scholnick, 1997). One can no longer be creative if they do not have basics to rely on. If
considering my life is a body, then without good planning skill, it would be a bunch of meat without
Truthfully, I acknowledge this skill mainly from my daily life. Although I also gained
them after attending activities in classes. We have presentations to explaining our daily life and
plans to learn in order to examine what are milestones of our plan. The class also provide case
studies of famous companies and people for us to experience key for their success. We also have
debates in which some people give problems, and deadline and others try to solve in time. Different
activities help build up different experience in managing and organizing our life. I also learn to
promote this skill through my daily life. Creating a timetable for daily life, circle what is more
important to do, etc are somewhat helpful to my skill.
2.2. Reading skill
The second AAS that I have learnt throughout courses is reading skill. Some people may
think reading skill is not as important as other skills needed for further study and job, but in fact,
without a good reading skill, one cannot have fully understanding about an issue to give correct
solution. Reading skill was defined by Peter Afflebah. et. al (2008) as specific ability that helps a
person to read, understand, analyze, and interact with the ideas, figures or messages through written
Reading skill is significant in research skills, which would bring many benefit to the reader
if it is applied correctly. Because of its importance, this skill must be analyzed and explained
carefully. According to Pearson Education & Harcourt Education (2005), there are three main
techniques of reading including scanning, skimming, and detailed reading. Skimming is used when
a person wants to get the general idea and impression of the whole book, story... by reading the title,
the first or last part of a written page, or first sentence of a paragraph... Scanning, on the other hand,
is used when something specific is concerned and the reader only look up for that only. It might be
telephone number, fact, a figure, a name, or a field in that written page. Meanwhile, people use
detailed reading technique when they want to read the whole page by reading every word and
understanding throughout. Each technique is linked to others and needed to be distinguished
carefully for fully understanding.
In today world, a person with strong academic reading skill would have more benefits than
others. I believe that strong reading skill would help to build and improve other skill of people.
Students with good reading skill tend to have better writing, concentration and attention skill since
they can learn structure, grammar, vocabulary from various sources, acknowledge the messages and
applied those in their writing. Through reading carefully, I figured out the mistakes made in my
writing and had a better solution for an issue. Moreover, good reading skill is an efficient tool to
build vocabulary. When reading a new book, I find myself exposed to many new words as well as
the meaning of them in specific context that make me remember it deeply. The better one's reading
skill is, the bigger his bank of vocabulary is. Further, Danielle S. McNamara (2007) believed that
reading skill helps people more creative which brings them more solution when a problem occurs.
With more information gained throughout reading, one can also achieve self-esteem. Clearly,
people with knowledge in many fields of life are more trustworthy to their colleagues and others;
and they can feel "I am proud of myself" for what they have. Strong reading skill is good, and who
builds and develop skills for reading academically is more successful.
In courses in university, students are encouraged to read critically to improve reading
skills. Basically, I believe that student who reads actively is more successful in future rather than
who reads passively. Which means a person should read something because he loves to read, not
because he is told to read. In university, I have attended many activities to read purposely and
actively. These activities include worm-up, during-reading, and after- reading activities. For the
worm-up activities, the tutor may introduce, ask opinions, or check background knowledge of
students about the topic. Then the comprehension of students is checked during reading by
outlining, matching, filling the gap, answer the question about specific part, etc. (Dr. Diane
Sbbebinsky, 2011). In this, I have chances to work individually, pair, or group to solve the issues
raised around the topic. We also play puzzles, hold competitions, or give a brief about the topic to
further acknowledgment. And after the reading course, a summary, an overview, opinion of the
topic is taken as necessary. Through all these activities, I realize that my skill has improved a lot,
and whenever reading a new one, I can easily reflect with the topic and figure out required
2.3. Group working skill.
It is definitely that my skill in group working has been built and improved a lot through the
course. After all the learning, my comprehension about group working has enhance which permit
me to use this skill correctly. Theoretically, group work skill is the ability to work well in group to
solve any issue. Specifically, Nancy Prey et. al. (2009) stated that this skill refers the ability to
corporate with other people, in order to find out what an individual's lack is then.
In my opinion, to be able to work well in group would bring various benefit to anyone's
personal life as well as social life. I remember one statement "More hands make for lighter work" of
an unknown person. That is the first benefit of group work that I have learnt through all the classes
in university. Definitely, when I have a strong group working skill, I can share with others what
difficulties I have faced, then the problems will be solve easier with more solutions. "More heads is
better than one" is what I thought, because I can find what my shortage is in others' experience,
opinion, and advice. The second benefit of it, is that through working in group, I can improve and
develop various skills, especially soft skills, which are increasingly significant in future world.
(edited by Claudia J. Carson, 2004). Through various activities about group working in the
university, I realize that my communication, problem solving, critical thinking skill have been
enhanced; and my reflection to problems has also been improved. Last but not least, I found myself
be more self-confident when I have strong group working skill. People may think it is not the only
way to get self-confident, but to me, ability to work in group has changed so much of my thinking
about myself. Truthfully, before learning to corporate with others in university, I am kind of
embarrassed person since I don't know if this is good and that is bad. I once wondered if I have
done right and have been afraid of working with others. Though, my self-confidence has been built
generally through all the activities in school.
I have opportunities to join many group working activities in classes, which brings such
benefits to my school life and future career. Activities like brainstorming, buzz group, debates,
group roles, puzzles, or rounds, etc. (Lupe Alle-Corliss & Randall Alle-Corliss, 2009)have been
held frequently in classes. Brainstorming helps students find out as many ideas as they can, then
discover their potential in many part of life. Buzz groups, meaning working in small group then
lager group, helps raising active reflection toward an issue, especially when a problem suddenly
comes. Meanwhile, other activities are great help in creating interaction among students, awareness
of keeping personal opinion, and strength of moving forward.
2.4. Academic writing skill.
The last skill that I would like to discuss is my academic writing skill. In the classes I took
in university, I learnt effective academic writing skills, which is required in every future job.
Honestly, not many people realize the importance of writing skill until they need to write
something, but it is really significant to everyone to have strong academic writing skill. Effective
academic writing skill, though, can be learnt. Stephen Bailey (2013) denies academic writing skill
as ability to write based on analysis, which mean composing essays, articles, etc. based on
evidences, facts, figures, etc. in a logical way. Good academic writing skill would create organized,
reasonable, rational, and methodical written pages that are useful for any career.
In my personal view, academic writing skill brings me as well as others many advantages.
Firstly, it helps to create better performance in many activities. Although academic writings is
written in third-person perspective, Louise Ravell (2005) mentioned that people who succeed the
skill are able to bring their personal and individual thought into the writing, and create their own
image for that writing. By succeeding the skill through classes, I have advantage than others when
performing a task. A good academic writing shows the reader the impression that its author is
professional, well-organized, and logical in thinking (Liz Hamp-Lyons & Ben Heasley, 2006).
Secondly, good academic writing skill contributes to the development of other academic skills such
as listening, reading, speaking and critical thinking. I prefer the state of Samuel Johnson that "What
is written without effort is in general read without pleasure". I believe that a good writer is also a
good reader and speaker. When mastering the skill in writing academically, I am aware that I can
speak more effectively, understand ideas under the words more clearly, and have a more logical
way of thinking. I am trained to be more patient when reading to figures and facts that I am once
afraid of, and able to learn faster through writing carefully. Finally, finding out the different
between academic writing and normal writing, my confidence is fully built. Be able to distinguish
between academic writings and other kinds (Samuel Reid et. al., 2013), I know how to write
different kinds of writing correctly, which is a great help for me in different jobs.
Because of many activities in university, I learn how to identify my view of academic
writing. For example, I was able to build concentration for key point of view in a specific amount of
time when I am in Free-writing activity. My plan for my assignment was structured under The
Three Liner activity when I have chance to make better outline. I also understand more about
assignment's question when doing Paraphrase. And when researching case studies, I figure out what
my remained mistakes and solutions for them.
I believe that I have mastered quite well these above four skill in classes. However, skills
can be lost along with time passing if they are not practical. Therefore, I have tried my best to apply
these skill in completing my assignments. I also structure a specific plan to broaden these
skills’function in my future professional life. Four above skill are relevant in any activity of my life.
Since people cannot live without a plan, I myself make a plan with suitable timetable and structure.
In order to do so, I must utilize my reading, academic writing and group working skill to figure out
what is prior and what can be done later. With good reading and group working skill, I easily gain
experience from others and decide what is most suitable for my life. By asking, learning,
researching, such remained mistakes are dismissed and improvements are done. Then, with strong
academic writing skill, the options above are organized in logical way to produce a good plan.
However, I always remember that without a thought of planning, the other skills would not be
practical. Meanwhile, to me, these four skill have close relation to each other.
Having done quite well in applying these skill in current life, I am about keeping them
useful for my future career by following four word. They are Careful, Patient, Compliant, and
Active. Those four word may seem simple, but it is quite difficult to follow all of them. Careful. It
means that when doing something, people must remember doing it carefully. Without an awareness
of doing carefully, one cannot figure out the necessary information in books, essays, etc and learn
from community without making mistakes. Of course, carefulness is not enough, but it would help
reducing amount of times making mistakes in reading, writing. People also prefer to work with
someone having carefulness rather than smart but careless. Patient. Doing anything require
patience. Without patience, one can no longer read a thousand-page book just to figure out an
option, or rewrite a problematic essay times by times. I remember one regret at an exam when I had
less patience. The examination lasted 90 minutes and I have done in 70 minutes. If I had enough
patience, I would stay to the end of the examination but I was not. After that, I realized that I was
wrong in some question and I really felt regret for no longer stay in class. Having patience also help
in improving result in working group by listening to others carefully. Compliant. Doing anything
must follow a specific rules and law. They can be university laws, class rules, company rules, or
even one's individual rule. I cannot make a good plan if that plan goes against society's benefit,
which also bring no good to my personal life. Writing academically also follows fixed methods
keeping the written pages be well-organized. Active. This is last but most importance in my
thought. Since people are not motivated forward if they do not have positive attitude toward
everything. The key success in applying those in life is that one must be active to learn. Be active to
plan a schedule, be active to practice speaking, writing, etc., be active to interact with others, and be
active to fix any problem and mistake. By remembering this, one can actively decide personal life
as well as professional life. Life changes day by day, and everyone does not stay there to wait for
some slows. "Do not let life flows over your hand without doing anything" is a quote that I prefer
most. These four words are just my personal experience in applying skills in life effectively. I
believe that I still have various things to learn in school as well as in society. After mastering four
out of vast of skills required for a better life, I am aware of how to acknowledge their advantages,
bring them in operation, and maintain them.
I have research the paper of Trinh Thi Huong Giang written about four main skills she
have acknowledged after classes. In my opinion, the paper has been conducted quite well but it has
still remained some mistakes and need to be improved. There are some good points in her paper.
Firstly, she had a good vocabulary with strong grammar knowledge. The words were used in
suitable way and they were expressed logically. Secondly, the paper had specific evidence with
explanation for each one. Those evidence showed that she paid attention to what has been taught in
classes. Thirdly, the paper had a well structure in assignment part which made it be more
understandable and convinced.
However, there were mistakes remained in her paper. First, the structure was also been
discussed. This paper discussed the four main skill that a student has learnt after period of studying,
and its structure does not include the part "Introduction about Advanced Academic Skills subject"
and "Focus apply Advanced Academic Skills". Although it is necessary to introduce about the
subject, but it is not the mainly focus in this paper and must be only brief. The part Focus apply
Advanced Academic Skills must not be separated from the Assignment since each skill need
evidence to be more convinced. Once again, when aligning this part in the Assignment part, it must
be more specific and shorter. Especially, it should related to the author's experience and knowledge
but not something is easily taken from sources. Second, information about skills discussed in the
part Assignment had lots of theoretical knowledge. They were no longer the explanation about what
author has achieved through the course, but simply a guide to gain those skill. Although having
table and figure, they might be not related to situation of the author. There were explanation,
analysis of each skill, but no fact or situation aligned with the author appeared. For example, with
Research skill, its four types including critical thinking, problem solving, analysis and
dissemination, and five tips to improve the skill were mentioned. But the reader found no
relatedness to the author since they did not know if she acknowledge all four types of the skill. And
the question is Whether she has succeed in following all five tipster only some? What is the result
after she followed those tips? The paper had no discussion, and the same for other skills mentioned.
In the conclusion, mistake was also made when she used theoretical knowledge to introduce her
plan to maintain those skill in professional life. Third, the Assignment part had no evidence of class
activities took when the author learnt about the subject, and how these activities help in her skill
improvement. Fourth, although the author use many theoretical knowledge in her paper, the
reference was so simple. Reader did not know where the source of such information is. Was it from
any source, or from personal experience? The reference should better be taken from printed copies,
not from online sources, to make the paper more reliable. And finally, because of the information
was taken from unknown sources, the matter if the paper violated copy right was a big concern.
Plagiarism is one of the matter that lead the failure of any paper. In short, the author must rewrite
the paper in more careful way applying in her personal situation, with more reliable sources and
1. Brenda Krenus (2011). Essential Academic Skill 2e. OUP Australia & New Zealand.
2. Claudia J. Carson (edit, 2004). Growth and Development Through Group work.
HAWORTH press INC.
3. Danielle S. McNamara (2007). Reading comprehension strategy: Theory, Intervention,
and Technology. Lawrence Erlbaun Associates.
Dr. Diane Sbbebinsky (2011). Advance academic reader: Complete guide to learning
reading comprehension strategy. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
5. Liz Hamp-Lyons @ Ben Heasley (2006). Study Writing: A course in Written English
for Academic Purpose. Cambridge University Press. Pp 10 - 20
6. Louise Ravell (2005). Analyzing Academic Writing Contextualized. Continuum. Pp
7. Lupe Alle-Corliss & Randall Alle-Corlis (2009). Group work: A Practical Guide to
Developing Groups in Agency Settings. John Wiley &Sons. Pp32-35
8. Nancy Prey et. al. (2009). Productive Group work: How to engage students, build
teamwork and promote understanding. ASCD.
9. M Yuonne Estelle-Marie (2009). Planning Space versus Planning Time: Analysis of
Planning across context. ProQuest.
10. Pearson Education & Harcourt Education (2005). Teacher's Handbook Book. Ginn,
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Reading Strategies" in The Reading Teacher. International Reading Association. Vol. 61, No 5.
12. Peter Capezio (1999). Powerful Planning Skill: Envision the future and making it
happens. Careepress Publisher.
13. Samuel Reid et. al. (2013) Academic Writing skills 3 Student's Book. Cambridge
14. Sarah L. Friedman & Ellin Kofsky Schonick (1997). The developmental Psychology of
Planning: Why, How, and When Do we Plan?. Lawrence Elbaun Associates.
15. Stephen Bailey (2013). Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students.
Routledge Publisher. 2nd ed.