First-year experience at Unisa

Other support services

For more student support services please make use of the following information:

Step 1: Library

Unisa library lends books to students for a certain period (this system maybe different due to the Covid 19 pandemic).

Please click here to watch a helpful video about the Unisa library (10:07)

For more Unisa library information, please click here.

Step 2: Academic literacy

Academic literacy is the ability to read, write, and understand, interpret and organise knowledge within academic disciplines.

Reading for academic purposes

To succeed in your studies you need to become a critical reader, and one way of doing that is to read lots of texts of different kinds. This will teach you to cope with the large amount of reading you have to do to prepare for your assignments and examinations.

 Reading for academic purposes:

  • teaches you to enjoy reading
  • helps you obtain more information about the subject you are studying from all the sources you are reading or have read
  • stimulates your mind
  • stimulates your imagination about a topic or subject
  • expands your vocabulary as you learn new words and concepts and research their meanings
  • improves your spelling 

Writing for academic purposes

Writing for academic purposes is very structured and coherent. We encourage you to write simple, accurate and short sentences to form coherent paragraphs. This will help you to do well in your assignments (formative assessments) and your exams (summative assessments). 

When you write for academic purposes, follow these three steps:

  1. Brainstorm – create a mind map to identify the main ideas of the topic.
  2. Plan – decide what information belongs in the introduction to your text, what belongs in the body of your text, and what belongs in the conclusion to your text.
  • Introduction/orientation – this part of your text introduces the topic and sets the tone.
  • Body/development – this part of your text is an exploration or discussion of the topic.
  • Conclusion/resolution – this part of your text is a summary of the main ideas you have discussed, and could include some suggestions or recommendations.

3.    Paragraph – divide your text into paragraphs. Each paragraph should consist of three to five sentences dealing with a particular aspect of the main theme.

The online specific academic literacies programme

Unisa offers an online specific academic literacies programme to introduce students to academic reading and writing in specific disciplines. Academic literacy is different for each discipline – in other words, students and practitioners of a particular discipline must be able to write in a style and use terminology that is accepted within that discipline.

Thank you for taking your time and going through the orientation.

We wish you all the best for your studies...from the Student Retention Unit.

Last modified: 2020/08/19