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John Peck and Martin Coyle. Write it Right. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005.

Review by James Simmons


Write it Right is a quick reference guide that answers basic questions on grammar, punctuation, and effective essay writing. This book is aimed at students new to undergraduate study or those wishing to reacquaint themselves with the fundamentals of academic writing.

The central message of Write It Right is that ‘essay writing should not resemble wandering into a maze with a vague hope that you will eventually emerge safely on the other side.  The reason why it is so often like this is because most people do not have a method they can call upon in writing an essay’(107). Starting with the basics, the book goes through the mechanics of writing effective sentences, to forming an argument and structuring assignments. The section dealing with paragraph transitions contains particularly helpful advice on creating a sense of continuity throughout an essay. The book is written clearly and illustrates grammatical terms with simple examples.

However, the sections which look at extended writing essays and dissertations are vague and provide no substantial detail. Also, the effective use of quotation and paraphrasing is an issue that is completely neglected by Peck and Coyle.

Despite these shortcomings, it is a valuable book that provides quick and easy solutions to common writing problems.