Academic writing: A style guide for students

How am I supposed to format my assignments at the University? How do I use punctuation and quotation marks consistently? What is citing and referencing according to a specific style?

Academic writing consists of expressing in written form information and ideas according to the objective(s) and characteristics of your academic work.

The present style guide is intended as a reference for your academic writing at the University of Luxembourg. It offers guidance on essential aspects of academic writing, organised in three sections: formattingmechanics of style, and citing & referencing.


The principal aim of formatting is to ensure consistency in the structure and presentation of your academic work. In this section, you find instructions on the following topics:

  • Formatting your work
  • Structure of the document
  • Formatting styles
  • Headings and captions
  • Page numbers
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Tables, graphs, and figures

Mechanics of style

This section addresses formal aspects of writing style. In it, you find useful information on the following topics:

  • Punctuation
  • Quotation marks
  • Numbers and equations

Citing and referencing

Whenever you borrow ideas, arguments, text, data, graphs, or other elements from other authors and you use them in your own work, you need to acknowledge the original source by citing it in your text (in-text citation). Each work you cite in your text must appear in a reference list at the end of your work (referencing). In this section, you find essential information on the following topics:

  • Citing: How to cite in your text (in-text citations)
  • Citation systems
  • Referencing: How to write your reference list
  • Citations styles
  • Plagiarism

Note: You should follow the instructions provided in this style guide for all written assignments unless your course instructor or study programme has given you specific instructions or a specific citation style for a particular assignment

Useful documents