TOP WRITING BOOKS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS
Of course these are books that should be read over a period of time (and certainly not when your dissertation/thesis is almost finished.
This list is in order of absolutely necessity.
1. Petchko, How to Write about Economics and Public Policy. This is an excellent book, tailored for GRIPS students, suitable for any economics or policy student. Every GRIPS graduate student should have a copy, and should have read it! (It’s also available for free download from the GRIPS library e-book section.)
Every GRIPS student should know everything in this book.
2. Swales & Feak, Academic Writing for Graduate Students
Best all-purpose writing course for self-directed learning (or classroom work)
This book is a complete course in the writing aspects of academic writing. It’s generic, suitable for disciplines, so sometimes it may not be granular enough for specific issues
—but you should know everything in this book!
The book is suitable for independent study, since there are a large number of exercises that are easy enough to enjoyable and practical enough to be valuable.
Time required for reading of the relevant parts of the book and completion of all the exercises that are not trivial for you: six months to one year of regular focused effort.
The textbook should be accompanied by Swales & Feak’s Commentary on Academic Writing for Graduate Students (be sure you get the same edition as the textbook). Discusses all the exercises in the textbook.
Williams, Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace. This is a lifetime book – lots about readability (reducing the reader’s cognitive load). Hunter is still reading it. Now 11th edition, though Williams died in 2008. Any edition from 7th onward is fine.
Sword, Stylish Academic Writing. A great book for the already semi-confident writer. Tells how to write less formal, less stiff academic writing – she claims this style is very welcome in the 21st century. Lots of good advice.
Gopen, A Sense of Structure
These two books are detailed walk-throughs of how to write accessible, reader-friendly English. The books are designed for teachers of writing, but anyone who is already a semi-confident writer of academic English should take a look at these books. Both books are largely about the reader’s expectations, as in the famous (?) topic position/stress position.
I suggest you borrow copies of these books from the library or from me and see if these shoes fit your writing feet.
=== for the more ‘sciencey’ academic writer:
Glasman-Deal Science Research Writing (2nd edition 2020, a little better than 1st, 2010). This is a book for sciencey writers – she uses the communication moves approach to deciding the content of each section of a paper, an approach done a little in Swales and Feak above. Also provides word lists and phrase lists for each section of a paper. Some tech types carry this one around obsessively.
Lebrun, Scientific Writing: A Reader and Writer’s Guide (2nd edition or 1st, both fine). For students who are writing ‘sciencey’ papers, but not for everyone, since Le Brun (who’s a very bright person) has a quirky sense of humor, and creates his own jargon, which is at odds with existing jargon. His sense of how to engage the reader, how to help the reader anticipate what’s next in the text, how to write spare and tight text – some people love it. Hunter does, the book makes him smirk.
WRITING (alphabetical by author, bold = highly recommended)
Bailey, Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students
Barzun, Simple and Direct
Becker, Tricks of the Trade
Billig, Learn to Write Badly
Bolker, Writing Your Dissertation in 15 Minutes a Day
Brians, Common Errors in English Usage
Christopher Johnson, Microstyle
Cutts, The Plain English Guide
Davis & Parker, Writing the Doctoral Dissertation
Elbow, Writing with Power
Ferris, Response to Student Writing
Glasman-Deal (2010) Science Research Writing
Gopen, The Sense of Structure
Graff & Birkenstein, They Say, I Say
Halliday & Hasan, Cohesion in English
Hoey, Patterns of Lexis in Text
Hyland, English for Academic Purposes
Lakoff & Turner, Metaphors We Live By
Lebrun, Scientific Writing: A Reader and Writer’s Guide
Lewis, Implementing the Lexical Approach
Miller et al., The Thesis Writer’s Handbook
Petchko, How to Write about Economics and Public Policy.
Raines, Keys for Writers
Rienecker & Jorgensen, The Good Paper
Strunk & White, Elements of Style
Swales & Feak Academic Writing for Graduate Students 3rd ed.
Swales & Feak Commentary on Academic Writing for Graduate Students 3rd ed.
Swales & Feak, English in Today’s Research World
Swan & Walter, How English Works
Swan, Practical English Usage
Sword, Stylish Academic Writing
The Little, Brown Compact Handbook
Thornbury, Natural Grammar
Weissberg & Buker, Writing Up Research
Petchko, How to Write about Economics and Public Policy.
Zinsser, On Writing Well
Booth et al, The Craft of Research
Sheldrake, The Sense of Being Stared At
Ausubel, D. (1968). Educational psychology: A cognitive view
Buzan, The Mind Map Book
Horn, R. E. (1998) Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century
Novak, J.D. & Gowin, D.B. (1984). Learning how to learn.
Novak, J.D. (1998). Learning, creating and using knowledge: Concept map® as facilitative tools in schools and corporations.
ARGUMENT AND CRITICAL THINKING
Aiken & Talisse, Why We Argue (and how we should)
Bowell et al, Critical Thinking: a concise guide
Cooper & Patton, Writing Logically, Thinking Critically
Cottrell, Critical Thinking Skills
de Bono, Six Thinking Hats
Fulkerson, Teaching the Argument in Writing
Tittle, Critical Thinking
Toulmin, The Uses of Argument
Warburton, Thinking from A to Z
Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments
Williams & Colomb, The Craft of Argument
Stevick, Images and Options in the Language Classroom
Stevick, Memory, Meaning and Method
Stevick, Teaching Languages, A Way and Ways
Stevick, Working with Teaching Methods: What’s at Stake?