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  • Writing: from the basics towards excellence

    Doug Specht

    Chapter from the book: Specht, D. 2019. The Media and Communications Study Skills Student Guide.


    This chapter looks at some of the skills needed to continue advancing students’ writing towards excellence. It looks at some of the mechanics of writing such as grammar and punctuation; better transitions; clarity and presenting work. Grammar and punctuation are basic parts of language and writing, but getting these right and using adeptly will pay dividends for the student. The author recommends consulting grammar books but to start off presents the reader with basic grammar rules concerning the use of prepositions like ‘at’ and ‘to’ and how to combine with nouns, adjectives and verbs which is very easy to get wrong especially for those whose first language is not English. Using a variety of linking words is really helpful as transitions in meaning or argument are required. Providing simple usage tables for these areas as well as other problem items like articles (e.g. ‘the’ and ‘and’) and tenses this chapter provides succinct and easy reference points for grammar errors that are most frequently made. A key part of academic writing described here is the process of nominalization that turns verbs (actions) into nouns (things, concepts, or people) and makes the tone of writing sound more abstract and formal. Concluding the chapter is a consideration of how to create unity in style throughout an assignment binding sentences together using pronouns, repetition and other neat and simple devices.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Specht, D. 2019. Writing: from the basics towards excellence. In: Specht, D, The Media and Communications Study Skills Student Guide. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book42.j

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Nov. 25, 2019