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N. A. Staines "Anvil Lines" (London, England)

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Walking Home
Walking Home
by Simon Armitage
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £16.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Walking words, 10 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Walking Home (Hardcover)
An easy and engaging read, and Simon Armitage's descrptions of people and places are masterful. If, like me, you have never walked the length of the Pennine Way, but have touched it in different spots over years of walking, you'll recognise the countryside, the villages and towns and the utter bleakness of high grounds. Mud and rain occupy many of the pages making it almost real. It hasn't encouraged me to walk the whole distance, so perhaps if you're thinking of the enterprise yourself, you might read this first. It shows too that earning a living as a wandering poet is unlikely to be successful in the long run.

Of course, we wonder about the walker's personal effort on the one hand and the energy and time of the many other people involved on the other, and the whole orchestration of the walk and the poetry readings, which SA gratefully and fulsomely acknowledges at the end, but read it for the pleasure of moving through the countryside with him, for the power of the writing and the enormous baggage of adjectives Armitage took with him.

How to Argue: Essential Skills for Writing and Speaking Convincingly
How to Argue: Essential Skills for Writing and Speaking Convincingly
by Prof Alastair Bonnett
Edition: Paperback

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exactly what my students and researchers need, 23 April 2009
Through running workshops and courses on writing and presentation skills for graduate research students and research staff in universities and research institutes, I meet so many people who need help in building an argument in their academic writing and presentations. A colleague introduced this book to me recently. I bought it, and now recommend it to everybody I meet through my work.

What the book provides is a straight forward approach to using rhetoric in evidence-based academic writing. One of its strengths is in its structure: you can, as I first did, read it cover to cover, or you can dip into sections in almost any order you like. Alistair Bonnett even gives the hurried reader a formula for reading only the very critical bits of the story which makes it a very practical book indeed.

It's a good read, written with a significant understanding of the student position and with an empathy for the challenges faced in developing the ability to communicate ideas, knowledge and discovery. Although aimed at a general student audience, I find that graduate students - both on masters and doctoral programmes - really appreciate this book. One section that resonates with researchers is the account of different ways to write and to what extent argument, as opposed to description, is necessary to support the approach to be taken.

For me, and the people I work with, this stands out from the herd in its value. There's no shortage of books that prescribe writing for academics, but this gives more than prescription by stimulating and encouraging the reader to think about their craft. It fills an important gap with its six chapters: Getting started; Structuring your argument; Arguments for all occasions; how to criticise arguments; Arguing out loud; How to be original.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 26, 2013 10:24 PM BST

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