How to Write Essays and Dissertations: A Guide For English Literature Students by Nigel FabbHow to Write Essays and Dissertations: A Guide For English Literature Students by Nigel Fabb

How to Write Essays and Dissertations: A Guide For English Literature Students

byNigel Fabb, Alan DurantEditorAlan Durant

Paperback | June 23, 2005

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The first book that literature students should read, this guide reveals the distinct set of skills, conventions and methods of essay and dissertation writing.

Taking students through the various stages of writing, from planning to final submission, it offers specific guidelines and a lively, detailed commentary on actual examples of student work at each stage.

Nigel Fabb is Professor of Literary Linguistics, an editor of Journal of Linguistics, and Head of the Department of English Studies at University of Strathclyde. Alan Durant is Professor of English Studies at Middlesex University London; formerly head of the School of English, Cultural and Communication Studies at Middlesex and  Head o...
Title:How to Write Essays and Dissertations: A Guide For English Literature StudentsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:184 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.45 inPublished:June 23, 2005Publisher:Taylor and FrancisLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0582784557

ISBN - 13:9780582784550

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Read from the Book

PREFACE Every summer for the past five years I have taught a seminar on writing and thinking across the curriculum. The class usually consists of mostly middle and high school teachers. In the course of our class discussions, we gradually arrived at the realization that although the textbook we used for the class had much to offer, it had become a little out of step with the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. We were surprised that texts were being written without considering the implications of the growing diversity of students in the United States. Over the years we had become accustomed to the diversity of our classrooms and recognized that meeting student needs meant employing diverse materials and methodologies. We had the same expectations of the textbooks we used. When our expectations were not met, we toyed with the notion of writing our own text. It seemed a daunting task when the idea first surfaced: How would classroom teachers teaching five classes a day find time to write a book? Would we be able to commit time and energy to a project that might take a couple of years? Forming a study group helped make the idea become a reality. For almost a year, we met regularly, discussing what the book might look like, what we might want to focus on in the book, and what each person's role might be. The discussions during our study group meetings surprised us because they were so positive. At the end of a busy day, we looked forward to these meetings because we were focusing on what worked in the classroom. For the textbook we envisioned, we wanted the resonant voice of many practicing teachers. So, to complement the teachers' voices, I invited a few colleagues from the university level to contribute to this book. These were colleagues who had had experience teaching in secondary schools but were now teaching at the college level. In some cases, the positions they held at the college level called for them to maintain ties with and gather wisdom from secondary schools and secondary school teachers. From all, we have a unique intertwining of theory and practice. From the practicing high school teachers comes practical knowledge with a sound theoretical base. From the college teachers comes theory situated in practice. No other volume provides this kind of continuity, bringing the special wisdom of those who have worked in both settings to bear on the issue of writing and learning in the secondary classroom. I wish to thank the authors of the chapters for agreeing to participate in this venture and for their patience and indulgence at each request I have made of them. My friend and colleague Anne-Marie Hall, especially, has been extremely helpful and supportive. I also owe a debt of gratitude to my husband, Tom, and my niece Renée for their patience and their willingness to pick up the slack every time I had to work on the book. Tom, especially, has been a willing reader, a sounding board, and all-around cheerleader for this project. To the many teachers across the secondary school curriculum who continue to search out ways to expand their students' literacy, my writing colleagues and I hope that this text becomes a valuable resource for you, now and in years to come. I am grateful to the reviewers of my manuscript for their comments and insights: Angela M. Ferree, Western Illinois University; David N. Petkosh, Cabrini College; Donna J. Merkley, Iowa State University; Harold Nelson, Minot State University; Ann Lockledge, University of North Carolina-Wilmington; Cynthia G. Kruger, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth; and Karen Kusiak, Colby College. Finally, I am indebted to Linda Sharp McElhiney for her unwavering faith in this project. I have been most appreciative of our editorial relationship because without her support, this book would not have come to fruition. Harriet Arzu Scarborough

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction 
  2. Writing on a prescribed topic   
  3. Devising your own topic
  4. What markers want
  5. Selecting primary and secondary texts
  6. Getting help from reference works, online resources and your supervisor  
  7. The first draft  
  8. Developing your argument  
  9. Weighting different elements in your argument 
  10. The voice to write in
  11. Revising an essay draft  
  12. Editing the beginning and ending
  13. Incorporating other people's words into what you write
  14. Mistakes in spelling, grammar and punctuation
  15. Handing in   


Editorial Reviews

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