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Discussion skills How to take part actively in academic talks

  • Taking part
    Understand why tutorial discussions are important, and how to participate effectively. Read more
  • Giving opinions
    In a discussion you need to give your opinion and support it with reasons and evidence. Read more
  • Agreeing
    You need to agree and also disagree (politely!) in academic discussions. Read more
  • Clarifying
    You won't always understand everything, so asking for claification is important. Read more
  • Other
    There are other important discussion skills, such as expressing uncertainty. Read more

Read about how to take part in academic discussions, and discussion skills such as giving and asking for opinions, agreeing and disagreeing, asking for clarification, and other discussion skills.

Discussions are a key part of university life. Although you may lack confidence initially when speaking in a group discussion, your confidence will grow as you understand more about how to participate in discussions, and learn some formulaic language such as giving opinions, agreeing and disagreeing and asking for clarification.

Find out why tutorial discussions are important and how to take part effectively.
Find out how to state your opinion and ask for others' opinions.
Learn how to agree and disagree (politely) in an academic context.
If you don't understand it is important to ask for clarification. Find out how with the language structures on this page.
Study language for other important discussion skills, namely giving suggestions and expressing uncertainty.


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Sheldon Smith

Author: Sheldon Smith    ‖    Last modified: 03 February 2022.

Sheldon Smith is the founder and editor of He has been teaching English for Academic Purposes since 2004. Find out more about him in the about section and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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