Making Your Case

Rebecca Stott / Anna Snaith / Rick Rylance  
Pearson Longman
Total pages
November 2000
Related Titles


This practical book demystifies the processes of academic writing through careful explanation and a series of engaging and practical examples.


  • The techniques and strategies offered apply to all forms of writing which require a degree of argument and analysis.
  • Provides examples from students and academics who do already write effectively, to enhance students' skills.
  • Places emphasis on drafting, redrafting, adaptation and correction as essential processes in the transformation and communication of ideas.
  • Outlines the skills central to academic essay writing including moving beyond knowledge to understanding; discriminating between one idea and another; and building up ideas to make a case.
  • Introduces the history and variety of the essay as a genre as well as the range of styles and voices employed by contemporary critics and students.
  • Provides a guide to the three different systems of referencing currently used in academic writing.

Table of Contents

1. On Essays
2. Style and Voice in Academic Writing
3. The Essay Writing Process
4. Paragraphs - The Building Blocks of Essays
5. Summary Skills
6. Editing Skills or, Adventures in Densely-Packed Sentences
7. References and Bibliographies.
Further Reading.
Appendix: David Lodge (1990) Composition, Distribution, Arrangement: Form and Structure in Jane Austen s Novels .

Back Cover

Although the academic essay is central to individual achievement in Higher Education, it often seems to students to be an activity that goes on outside rather than inside seminar and tutorial rooms. Making Your Case: a Practical Guide to Essay Writing is a practical book designed to demystify the processes of academic writing through careful explanation and a series of engaging and practical exercises.

The book offers a valuable opportunity for the reader to investigate and learn about the processes of academic writing and includes chapters on:

* collecting information
* identifying an argument
* designing a plan
* editing, proof-reading and referencing

Although it is rooted in the study of literary texts, the techniques explored and strategies offered apply to all courses and forms of writing which require a degree of argumentation and analysis.

Making Your Case and the three other books in the Speak-Write Series, Grammar and Writing, Writing with Style, and Speaking Your Mind, are the result of three years of research, teaching, design and development undertaken by the nationally acclaimed Speak-Write Project. This project, funded by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council in England) through its Fund for the Development of Teaching and Learning, was established to provide groundbreaking teaching materials to advance the speaking, writing and grammatical skills of first-year humanities undergraduates.

Rebecca Stott, Anna Snaith, Rick Rylance, Peter Chapman and Nora Crook are all based in the Department of English, Anglia Polytechnic University.


Anna Snaith, Lecturer in English, Anglia Polytechnic University

Rick Rylance, Professor of Modern English Literature, Anglia Polytechnic University