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The Good Writing Guide for Education Students

The Good Writing Guide for Education Students

Fourth Edition
  • Dominic Wyse - UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK
  • Kate Cowan - UCL Institute of Education, UK
Additional resources:

May 2017 | 192 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Grappling with grammar? Worrying about referencing?

This handy guide is packed with practical advice on how to search for reading materials, structure your academic writing, think critically, reference appropriately, and use language effectively. "Top Tips" throughout the book help eradicate all the common mistakes that bring your marks down.

With real life examples of academic work, and plenty of "dos" and "don'ts," this is the perfect writing manual for students studying at all levels, and the ideal book to help readers get top marks for all your education course assignments. 
Reading Widely
Searching for Reading Materials
Reading Critically
Planning for Writing
Structuring Your Writing
Writing Critically
Writing a Dissertation
Assessment and Learning from Feedback


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This is a comprehensive and engaging book for self-study. It has introduced me to the basis  of good academic writing, in particular because it uses simple language to explain the many steps taken while reading and writing critically. It goes from reading widely, planning, developing your own voice, critically organizing thoughts to writing a dissertation and proofreading.  In other words,  I would say that this book goes from A to Z. I feel as if my anxieties, doubts and insecurities with regard to writing have been clarified by a friend. I wish I had read this book before taking a Master’s course. 

Notes on Specific Chapters

The book is very well organized giving very clear steps to writing your own essay.

The top tips in boxes are important as they draw your attention to relevant points that might otherwise not be noticed if they were in middle of the text. In the same way, the Key Fact, which gives a brief explanation, helps foreign students in particular to understand the basic terminology used in the academic field.

The examples given to illustrate the explanation are very useful because they show in practice how to apply the explanation.

Another strong point of the book is its reference to the chapters, in order to gather more information about what has been explained. In this sense, this book covers all the points that enable students to become effective critical readers and writers. The interesting point is that when you start to read, some questions may be raised but they are then answered through your reading on, so it can be suggested that the book engages in a conversation with you. 

It brings to our attention the number of times that an article is cited, which is an indication that the article is relevant academically.

The chapter on criticality, an area which most students find challenging, gives a clear explanation of how to apply critical thinking constructively. It differentiates between the subjective role of the reader and the reader’s ability to offer objective criticism.

Although planning your essay beforehand is one of the most important steps, it can be quite tricky but in chapter 4 the book gives a clear idea of how to plan and from where to start.

Writing Chapter: The relevance of the introduction and its connection with the conclusion are given. What I find extremely useful is the guide to writing a strong conclusion, in that it explains that the information contained in it is a reiteration of the points mentioned in the introduction, but with critical engagement. Moreover, the example of subheadings, writing a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph in the main body of the essay, is a useful guide as this has clarified to me how to organise my arguments in a more coherent fashion.

 The activity proposed in the reference chapter is useful as it checks our understanding and draws our attention to the most common mistakes made while citing.

Viviane Pereira Zanini
MA Early Years Education Student, UCL Institute of Education

This is an excellent book for students starting to write a dissertation and is especially useful to students who may be coming back to study after being away from it for a while.

Mrs Geraldine Anita Parks
Department of Education, St Mary's University College (Belfast)
July 2, 2021

A very insightful book outlining mindfulness. Giving background information on managing stress, supporting students well-being through mindfulness and even gives tips on teaching tips on mindfulness in and out of the classroom

Mrs Helen Clarke
Health, Salisbury College
March 5, 2018

This is a fine book with excellent clear instructions for learners.

Dr Christine Eastman
Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University
September 25, 2017

Dominic Wyse

Dominic Wyse is Professor of Early Childhood and Primary Education at University College London (UCL), Institute of Education (IOE), and Academic Head of the Department of Learning and Leadership. Dominic is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAoSS), an elected member of the British Educational Research Association (BERA) Council, and a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). The main focus of Dominic’s research is curriculum and pedagogy. Key areas of work are the teaching of writing, reading and creativity. Dominic has... More About Author

Kate Cowan

Dr. Kate Cowan is a Senior Research Fellow at UCL Institute of Education. Her research explores children's play and communication from a multimodal perspective, including aspects such as literacy, creativity and digital technologies. Kate’s work also involves developing multimodal methodologies, video-based methods and participatory approaches to research with children. Projects include 'A National Observatory of Children's Play Experiences During Covid-19' (funded by the ESRC), 'Playing the Archive: Memory, Community and Mixed Reality Play’ (funded by the EPSRC) and 'Valuing Young Children’s Signs of Learning: Observation... More About Author

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