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The Quick Fix Guide to Academic Writing

The Quick Fix Guide to Academic Writing
How to Avoid Big Mistakes and Small Errors

First Edition
  • Phillip C. Shon - Professor of Criminology at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology
Additional resources:

December 2017 | 152 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Whether you’re writing a paper, essay, assignment, or dissertation, this short and punchy book helps you improve your writing skills through minimal effort.

Providing you with a quick set of writing rules to follow, this tried and tested guide uses a unique and easy to follow grid-based system.  Packed with advice on understanding (big and little) common errors made in academic writing, it helps you identify patterns in your own writing and demonstrates how to reshape or re-evaluate them - and raise your writing game in any academic context. 

How-to tutorials include:

  • Synthesizing and critiquing literature – and using your coding sheet to develop critical arguments 
  • Shaping abstracts, introductions, discussions, and conclusions – to improve the logic and structure of your writing
  • Applying lessons-learned to future projects, whatever format of academic writing.

Save time and improve your grades, with this essential quick fix guide!

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. 

Chapter 1: Understanding the “Big” and “Little” Errors in Your Paper
“Big” Errors

“Little” Errors

Chapter 2: What Am I Supposed to Do In My Paper?
The Lone Wolf Claim

Formulating a Research Question

Types of Writing Assignments

Chapter 3: How to Synthesize the Literature
Organizing your own RCOS

Interpreting RCOS: A Student Example

The Infiniteness of Synthesis

Chapter 4: How to Develop a Critique of Previous Literature
Critiquing Ice Cream, Hamburger, and a Movie

Three Questions that Lead to an Appropriate Critique of Previous Literature

A Haven for CPLs and GAPs

Chapter 5: How to Produce a Claim
Differentiating between ROF and ROA

The Citationality of the ROF and ROA

Building an Argument and Creating Main Sections

The Scope of Claims in Non-empirical Papers

Chapter 6: How to Write an Abstract, Introduction, Discussion, and Conclusion
How to Write an Abstract

How to Write an Introduction

How to Write a Discussion

How to Write a Conclusion

A Note on Data and Methods

Chapter 7: Conclusion: A Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Model of Social Science Writing


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Students found this really engaging and informative. It covers the major parts of academic writing and addresses some of the most common issues students encounter when writing at university level.

Dr Jennifer Hough
Criminal Justice, St Helens College
December 18, 2018

A good guide with solid advice on academic writing. Best suited to someone reading it in order, can be difficult to pick up and read individual sections, some of the language can be quite technical for novice readers.

Mr Michael Smith
School of Nursing and Caring Sciences, University of Central Lancashire
September 12, 2018

This is very useful as a starting point for improving essay writing skills for mature students who are returning to study

Mrs Michele Ponting
Access to Higher Education, Portslade Aldridge Community Academy
April 29, 2018

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase this book and request an instructor sample on our US College site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.