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Good Essay Writing

Good Essay Writing
A Social Sciences Guide

Fourth Edition
Additional resources:

May 2011 | 184 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book sets out proven approaches and techniques which can help everyone write good essays. Extensively revised and updated in this fourth edition, Good Essay Writing now includes new material such as:

  • A chapter on essay planning, focusing on literature searching (using online materials), note-taking and formulating an argument
  • A comparison of essay writing to exam writing
  • The use of academic language, vocabulary and register, and its 'accuracy and appropriateness'
  • more exemplar material used throughout the chapters

The authors focus on answering key questions students face when preparing essays – What do tutors look for when marking my essay? What kind of skills do I need as I progress through my course? How can I avoid inadvertent plagiarism? What are the protocols for referencing?

Encapsulated in easy to digest summaries, this new edition shows you how to approach different types of essay questions, addresses common worries, and provides extensive use of worked examples including complete essays which are fully analyzed and discussed. Each chapter also includes suggested further reading and an extensive glossary.

Good Essay Writing is highly recommended for anyone studying social sciences who wants to brush up on their essay writing skills and achieve excellent grades.

What Is a Social Science Essay?
Stages of Writing, from Preparation to Final Version
Matching the Answer to the Question
Reading, Note-Taking and Literature Searches
Thinking Critically and Formulating an Argument
Writing Introductions
Writing the Main Section
Writing Conclusions
Some Common Worries
What Tutors Look for When Marking Essays
Examples of Student Essays


Good Essay Writing website
Visit the Good Essay Writing companion website for free online resources.
SAGE Study Skills website
Visit the SAGE Study Skills website for tips, quizzes and videos on study success!

An excellent resource for HE students on the study skills programme and the main Foundation Degree. This publication provides numerous examples for students to develop and progress in their essay writing, with clear guidance on planning, drafting, writing, referencing and acting on feedback. It also provides an informative chapter on 'What Tutors Look for When Marking Essays', although does also highlight to students that this is a 'broad indication of what may be expected'. A highly recommended resource on the reading list.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care and Early Years, Swindon College
February 15, 2017

This is a perfectly good book, but I have not adopted it because I was looking for a book that would cover both essay writing and would also consider aspects of research project writing (a big ask, I know). Also, my perception is that this book is aimed at pre-university students (although I realise it is written by OU lecturers).

Mr Mark Betteney
Education Department, Greenwich University
June 1, 2015

A good publication for students on the study skills programme, further supporting their planning and drafting of assignments.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care And Early Years, Swindon College
January 2, 2016

A very useful little book. I have adapted some of the exercises in suggested to fit the assignments we work with.

Ms Jacqueline Davies
Institute of Health Science, City University
April 28, 2015

Incredibly useful for social science class. Great break down of the points.
Great topics included as well

Miss Mary Frances Forry
Social Sciences, West College Scotland
March 25, 2015

An incredibly useful text for all my social science classes.

Miss Mary Frances Forry
Social Sciences, West College Scotland
August 4, 2015

A great book that I have recommended to social science students

Mrs Adele Creer
computing, Isle of Man College
June 19, 2014

A great guide to assist first year students with the basics of writing an essay. It assists students with understanding what an essay question is asking of them, how to critically think and formulate an argument, and how to structure an essay.

Mrs Stephanie Goodwin
marketing, public relations, communications, University of Central Lancashire
January 17, 2014

An excellent book which promotes a fantastic skill set suitable for those setting out in the study of social sciences. I certainly wish I had a copy of this when I was a student myself. The book itself provides excellent and practical tips for planning, structuring and fine tuning essays to a good standard. Whilst I will be unable to adopt this book on our course I will certainly recommend this to my learners or anyone writing in the academic study of social sciences.

Mr Andrew Thistle
Care Academy, Carshalton College
December 13, 2013

Although useful it did not address all the areas that I was loo9king for.

Many thanks anyway.

Neil Scott

Mr Neil Scott
Durham Business School, Durham University
May 14, 2013

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