Academic writing is an important activity by which students' eventual success in university education is judged. Using the principles of needs analysis, researchers have been able to identify pertinent issues with regard to writing in an academic context. Needs analysis adopts sound theoretical frameworks to present a clear view of institutional requirements and students' language competence. This in turn gives us information that assists in developing more appropriate and effective language courses. This book is an outcome of research to address what aspects of communicative language use in terms of skills, target situation, fields of interest and genres of academic work are demanded of students by the lecturers and examiners and how their written work is evaluated by their lecturers in the disciplines which they study. In addition the nature of students' communicative competence that they bring to the university situation and how it compares with the target genres is also tackled. Finally, the book attempts to show how the answers to these issues can make the teaching of academic writing and communication skills more effective.