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on 28 October 2016
I am studying with the Open University on the BA Childhood Studies and Child Psychology pathways and this book is FANTASTIC!

The most valuable parts for me were the advice and examples of different essays and how they differ including how to write an introduction, main body text and conclusion.

It gives advice on:

- What tutors look for when marking essays
- Matching the answer to the question
- How to reference correctly.
- Comparison of different essays and what makes them better/well structured from the others.

This book has become a valuable tool for me in being able to write my essays, especially writing an introduction and a conclusion!

Fantastic product, i'd recommend it to anyone.
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on 17 March 2017
This book is perfect for learning how to write an essay. it starts with the basic level...1500 words and below and then helps you progress onto more advance essays, 1500 words plus. Although primarily for social studies it is not difficult to mould it to what you need it be for your particular studies. I am learning Envoronmental Science with the Open University and this book is helping me.
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on 25 April 2014
This is handy buy if you are new to, or coming back to academic study after a long time off. I pompously imagined when I bought it that I would know everything in it and that it would just prove my academic excellence, but I was really surprised with the number of useful gems of information inside, and how much it helped me to improve my own essay writing.
It is laid out really well so you can work through it as you are writing your essay, or you can dip into it for help on specific areas.
They also provide example essays to help you understand form as well as content.
The only possible issue I could see is with regards referencing - the Harvard referencing system gets updated sometimes so I would say make sure you back up your referencing with details from your own college/ Uni's guidance.
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on 12 October 2017
Just started at the open uni.
An I have purchased a number of books to help me enhance my skills.
This is the most informative book
I have purchased so far.
(Best buy moment)
It is easy to enage in the book an it helps you understand the vitals.
Really Glad I purchased it :)
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on 29 May 2013
I ordered a couple of different books and scanned the library for the best book to give to my graduate students, who have either no prior experience in writing essays or that was 20 years ago.
Why this book? You don't want to read 10 different books. There are a lot of books out there. One should be enough. This one provides enough depth and breadth to get you going.
Some of the 1 star reviews mention that it is written from a marking perspective. I whole heartedly agree. Redman & Maples focus on the key things that go wrong. With this book you will understand why your essay fell short of your expectations and where to improve. It is not a detailed guide to style or grammar. It is your one-stop book to get going with writing.
Plus: the approach focusses on the whole workflow: from note taking, to 'word storming', structuring the argument, writing it down, refining it, and referencing properly.
Negative: the section on the main body of an essay should have discussed more explicitly different structures of academic arguments, including examples of what the 3 points might look like. The Pyramid Principle is a good addition to fill this gap.
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2009
So many new students, whether young or mature, are taking new courses where there are formal essay requirements.

99% of such students cannot write an essay according to markable academic criteria; but they think they can.

Unfortunately the standard we all produced in school is not good enough for formal academic work.

This books is legendary in the open university and it has been available as the gospel work to other academic institutions for some time now.

It does go a little too far in pursuing the golden prize; but its easy to ignore that part.

This will get you extra points in your assignment.
Follow the guidance and get those free extra marks!
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on 7 October 2015
This is a fantastic book. Many people struggle with essays but this book is a very easy to use guide. I bought it as a gift for my 16 year old who has just started college and needs help with writing essays. It's focus is on social sciences but it's content is relevant. I would highly recommend it to all students
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on 20 April 2012
I ordered this book because it was recommended as preparation for the Open University's course DD131 (Introduction to Social Sciences). I've previously studied law and humanities, and I was also a law tutor with the OU for a number of years, so I've read my fair share of how-to guides on essay-writing, - this one is hands-down the best. I suspect it exaggerates the differences between social science essays and essays in other subjects, but that's a minor detail. What particularly impressed me was the discussion of three different essay types - advocacy, compare & contrast, and evaluation - I haven't seen that set out so clearly anywhere else. The sections on note-taking and critical thinking are also better than most of what's out there, and the level of detail is excellent throughout, without being overwhelming. Highly recommended.
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on 12 March 2016
A very useful pocket book for anyone going back to academic writing after a long break.
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on 13 March 2011
This is a brief but comprehensive guide to good academic writing. It will be particularly useful for OU students, those of us who are unused to the demands of academic writing, those who are returning to education and anyone who lacks confidence in their writing abilities.

As a stranger to referencing, I found the sections on how to create a bibliography/ reference list very helpful.

There are examples of 'good' and 'bad' writing and on how to structure and develop each section of your assignment. The author gives useful advice about how to develop, present and evidence an argument.

Cautionary note: it is not a book 'about' social science nor will it write an assignment for you.
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