Books About Writing

Making Your Case:
A Practical Guide to Essay Writing (Longman, 2001)

Ed. Rebecca Stott, Rick Rylance, Anna Snaith

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Writing with Style (Longman, 2001)
Ed. Simon Avery and Rebecca Stott

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Speaking Your Mind (Longman, 2001)
Ed. Cordelia Bryan, Tory Young and Rebecca Stott

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Grammar and Writing (Longman, 2001)
Rebecca Stott and Peter Chapman

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Books about Writing

These are books in the Speak-Write series for which I was the series editor in 2000. These books came about because I was co-teaching a first-year writing course at Anglia Ruskin University English Department. We taught these students some of the nuts and bolts of writing by way of taking some of the mystery out of techniques: writing conventions, grammar, syntax, style, sentence shapes and sizes, rhythms of writing and so on. It worked. Students started to experiment, try different voices, different rhythms. We taught them about how to argue as well – trying to take some of the mysteries out of that too by showing them what the Greeks had worked out years ago. Whenever I talked with colleagues at other universities they talked about how straitjacketed their students were by lack of writing skills.

So we decided to write the books. They are designed as teaching books but also work for students working by themselves. They do a good deal more than teach students how to write essays or to use correct grammar, though they do this as well – they use examples from eminent writers, classic and contemporary, they give students exercises to practice new techniques, they aim to inspire and to demythologise the whole process of writing from writing essays to short stories to advertising copy.

They have been taken up by English departments all over the UK and in the States and are recommended by the English Subject Centre. A fifth book is about to be published called Writing at Work (by Tory Young and Vicky Williamson) and we are planning to produce a sixth book, on Creative Writing.

Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge offers an MA in Creative Writing (