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on 10 January 2007
I'm currently in the stages of preparing for my next course - A211 - Philosophy and the Human Situation (OU).

I recently completed A103 - Introduction to the Humanities (OU) with a decent pass mark. However, I often found myself spending far too much time on the task of completing essays. My biggest problem was allowing myself to be distracted and finding other things to do. I would sit for hours stirring at a blank screen wondering what the hell to write whilst pouring over my seemingly useless notes. With just hours to spare I would just manage to pull off a decent essay, but I always felt it could have been a less stressful task that didn't take days to complete.

So, I've just read this book cover to cover and I feel 100 times better about starting A211. The advice given in this book is excellent and I've a new found confidence in tackling essays. I particularly enjoyed chapter 8 - The Craft of Writing. I only wish I read it before I started A103.
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on 9 March 2013
Brilliant little book. Acts as a refreshing change from all the "heavy stuff" on essay writing and serves as a reminder of what you should be doing.

Quick easy read but will be useful to dip back into when needed.
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on 22 October 2008
Didn't Monty Python have a sketch about stating "the bleeding obvious"?
This book does just that. If you have never written an essay before, try one of the Open University's study guides; if you have, then 'The Basics of Essay Writing' may tie up some loose ends. If you are getting low grades and think you deserve more, consider this book. It's a very straightforward, common sense guide to constructing an essay.

I particularly liked the unintentional irony where the author follows his section on the avoidance of cliches with a piece on sexist language: several of the politically correct alternatives to the sexist nouns he lists, now seem quite clicheed themselves.

It's a very good price and a very handy pocket size! (Professor Warburton would not like that exclamation mark, nor this chatty ending. Quite right!)
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on 16 March 2009
I do like Warbuton's Myers-Briggs inspired Appendix, where he has categorised essay writers. I decided I was a combination of a 'personaliser' and a 'colloquialist'. He has written good stuff on 'overcoming obstacles' - academic writers' block. This bit needs to be expanded I think though - for example I find aromatherapy (frankinscense and clary -sage for writing) and exercise helpful, as well as flicking through papers or books. On the left side of my computer monitor I have a list of things that can help me with my writers' block - acupressure, meditation, visualisation, cups of tea. I think the book could be better laid out - so for example helpful tips like this in boxes. The book is too short and needs much more material on grammar, structure and planning, time management and constructing sentences and paragraphs. The bibliography is too short, but overall this book could get you going again with its humour and tips.
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on 27 December 2013
I ordered this book to help with my assignments, it was on the Open Universities recommended reading list. Having purchased one and used it I would also recommend this to other students.
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VINE VOICEon 10 October 2009
In my view the key to success in examinations is communication with the examiner. In the vast majority of subject areas that is through essay writing. This book by Nigel Warburton is very good at explaining the basics of essay writing. It is a vital resource for AS/A2 Level students and others.
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on 5 December 2013
One book that is essential for english uni students. This is a really useful book on the basics of essay writing.
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on 27 August 2015
Purchased on behalf of my brother for his art degree...he was happy with it.
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on 25 May 2015
Basic but helpful!
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on 6 March 2015
great
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