Resources for students

Recommended Books

Writing & Grammar

How to Write a Sentence: and How to Read One.
Fish, Stanley Eugene. 1st ed., Harper Collins, 2011.
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Despite its title, this book is not a handbook on grammar, syntax, or style. Instead, it is an ode to the textual world that aims to deepen its readers’ appreciation of the craft of good writing and reading. In this New York Times bestseller, legal scholar and literary theorist Stanley Fish offers a wonderfully entertaining read that will make you think carefully about what good writing is, how to appreciate it in your own reading, and how to become a stronger writer.

They Say / I Say: the Moves That Matter in Academic Writing.
Graff, Gerald., and Cathy. Birkenstein. 2nd ed., W.W. Norton & Co., 2010.
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This handbook provides a useful overview of the rhetorical choices writers can make when crafting an argument. In it, you’ll find templates, examples, and guidance on how to use rhetorical moves to engage critically with sources and to position your own arguments in dialogue with what other scholars have said before you.

Faultless Grammar: the Busy Lawyer’s Reminder Guide.
Staveley, Ben. 2017.
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Legal cases have been decided on the basis of a single semicolon… If you want to make sure you punctuate correctly, this quick and fun read is the resource for you.

Economical Writing.
McCloskey, Deirdre N. 2nd ed., Waveland Press, 2000.
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Written with wit and humour, this manual of academic writing for the economist runs through the principles of good academic writing in economics. Prof McCloskey offers advice we should all heed in our writing, economist or otherwise.

Crafting Arguments & Critical Thinking

An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments.
Almossawi, Ali, and Alejandro F. Giraldo. 2014.
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A short and charmingly illustrated exposition of bad arguments. After reading it, you’ll be quick to spot fallacies and to be able to explain why such arguments are logically faulty, and you’ll be sure to avoid fallacious arguments in your own reasoning.

The Oxford Guide to Effective Argument and Critical Thinking.
Swatridge, Colin. Oxford University Press, 2014.
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This book provides a step-by-step approach to thinking clearly about arguments. It will help you to figure out exactly what you think and to say exactly what you mean.

How to Argue.
Bonnett, Alastair. 3rd ed., Pearson, 2011.
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Practical and user-friendly, this guide offers techniques to help you produce clear, convincing, and rigorous arguments in your academic work.

The Oxford Tutorial : ‘Thanks, You Taught Me How to Think’.
Palfreyman, David. OxCHEPS, 2001.
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Tutorial teaching is an important part of your Oxford degree. In this edited volume, the contributing authors (current or former Oxford tutors… maybe even one of your own!) present their own experiences and critiques of the Oxford tutorial and shed light on the Oxford tutorial both as a teaching practice and a pedagogical theory.


When Perfect Isn’t Good Enough: Strategies for coping with perfectionism.
Antony, Martin M. and Richard P. Swinson. New Harbinger Publications, Inc., 2009.
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Many students struggle with perfectionism. If you do too, this book will help you to understand the causes and effects of perfectionism. It is packed with tips for overcoming perfectionism and anxiety about making mistakes.

My Path to Happy: Struggles with my mental health and all the wonderful things that happened after…
Reed, Charlotte. Simon & Schuster UK, 2019.
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This illustrated book tells the story of the author’s own mental illness and recovery. For the author, having depression and anxiety was the hardest thing she ever experienced in her life, but she found ways to keep going and to recover. This book is full of hope and positivity.

Tips and Tricks for Exams

Better handwriting for adults.
The National Adult Literacy Agency, 2009.
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If you have handwriting that you worry will be illegible to your examiners, this is the resource for you. The first two sections might be useful if even sometimes you find your own handwriting illegible; otherwise skip to section 3 on page 37 for ‘quick fixes’ to common handwriting problems.