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Good Essay Writing

Good Essay Writing
A Social Sciences Guide

Fifth Edition
Additional resources:

February 2017 | 200 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Writing good essays is one of the most challenging aspects of studying in the social sciences.  This simple guide provides you with proven approaches and techniques to help turn you into a well-oiled, essay writing machine.

Good Essay Writing demonstrates how to think critically and formulate your argument as well as offering water-tight structuring tips, referencing advice and a word on those all too familiar common worries – all brought to life through real student examples from a range of subjects.

Now in its fifth edition, this fresh update contains:

  • New essay examples are analysed and discussed, so you have a clear understanding of what makes a good essay
  • A new chapter on essay writing skills and other forms of social science writing, helping you transfer the skills you learn to different types of written assessments
  • A new Companion Website providing additional exercises and examples, helping you practice and apply the skills.

This practical guide is an absolute must for everybody wanting – or needing – to brush up on their essay writing skills and boost their grades.

Student Success is a series of essential guides for students of all levels. From how to think critically and write great essays to boosting your employability and managing your wellbeing, the Student Success series helps you study smarter and get the best from your time at university. 

What is a Social Science Essay?
Stages of Writing, from Preparation to Final Version
Matching the Answer to the Question
Reading, Note-taking and Literature Searches
Thinking Critically and Formulating an Argument
Writing Introductions
Writing the Main Section
Writing Conclusions
Essay-writing Skills and Other Forms of Social Science Writing
Some Common Worries
What Tutors Look for When Marking Essays
Examples of Student Essays


Study Skills Hub

Visit our hub for free academic skills, wellbeing and employability resources from our new and bestselling guides, designed to support you from day one all the way through to graduation and beyond.

Click for online resources

Visit the companion website for a range of handy resources to support your essay writing, including:

  • Shuffled essays
  • Word identification activities
  • Annotated introductions and conclusions
  • Click and reveal tasks for jumbled references
  • Downloadable summary sheets
  • Additional tips and advice.

This book is very valuable for any student intending to write an academic essay. It is well structured, provides ample examples, has valuable advice and tips, and is easy to navigate.

Dr Kamil Zwolski
Lecturer in Global Politics and Policy, University of Southampton

This book is an easy to read and understand text which is written in an accessible style for undergraduate students. I recommend it, and would like to see it used more widely by my students.

Louise McKnight
Lecturer in Radiography, Birmingham City University

Very useful book especially the chapter on how to reference a variety of secondary sources. In addition, the 'matching the question to the answer' section, offers detailed explanation on how to interpret 'command verbs' so that learners answer questions appropriately, thereby increasing their potential for higher grades.

Mrs Rosie Washer
School Of Care Studies, West Herts College
October 7, 2019

A student can access this book in the same way that they access a personal tutor. they can identify the problem and read the relevant section, where the response is clear and examples are provided. The examples are not always academic, which allows the user to focus on process. This can be applied to their work later.

Miss Claire emery
FHSC, Kingston University
May 11, 2017

This provides excellent tips to support students structure, organise and develop their academic writing. Students can use the suggestions to effectively upskill their drafts. Importantly, students can use the text to target specific areas for development and engage with useful examples. It is best pitched at first year students.

Ms Lorraine Loveland-Armour
Department of Education, Newman University
May 12, 2017

A well written and easy to follow guide. This book has been an often used resource for both level 3 and level 4 learners.

Miss Julie Anderson
health, Tyne Metropolitan College
July 14, 2017

This edition provides students progressing on to the Foundation Degree, year 1, with clear explanations on how to organise and structure academic skills in writing at HE Level.

Miss Tracey Canham
Health Care and Early Years, Swindon College
October 23, 2017