Writing is an essential part of studying literature. The department offers many opportunities for one-to-one, individually-tailored support, helping you to develop your writing at all levels of study. This includes everything from technical aspects of grammar to the development of rhetorically powerful arguments for your written assessments.
Writing assessed essays
Much of your assessed work over the course of your degree will take the form of an essay.
Our main focus is upon essay writing, because it best demonstrates the crucial skills of critical thinking, sustained analysis, clear argument, a detailed engagement with primary and secondary materials, and persuasive prose.
The most comprehensive information about essay writing can be found in the department's Guide to Assessment (PDF , 561kb). Look especially carefully at sections 8, 9, and 10.
You might find the information below useful too, although it doesn't replace what's in the guide to assessment:
In addition, Ian Small, recent research graduate and former headteacher, is available to see students individually about their essay work during term time.
Please find more information here for specific guidance on written assessments, and see below for more information about the different kinds of support available.
Royal Literary Fund Fellows
Everyone at every level can always improve their writing style. Paul Mills and Paul Sayer are Royal Literary Fund Fellows based in the department. Professional writers themselves, they are here to provide a free and confidential consultation service to help develop your writing. If you would like detailed practical advice about how to write more successfully, whether an undergraduate essay, postgraduate dissertation or PhD thesis, please do get in touch with them.
Paul Mills was RLF Writing Fellow at the University of York from 2012-15, and returns again this year. As well as five poetry collections from Carcanet Press and Smith Doorstop, his other publications include Writing In Action (Routledge 1996) and The Routledge Creative Writing Coursebook (2005). He has also written two verse dramas performed at The National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse. He was Gregory Fellow in Poetry at Leeds University from 1978-80, and then for many years taught Literature and Creative Writing at York St John University. From 1986-7 he and his family lived in California where he held a Fulbright Teaching Exchange Fellowship, an experience reflected in his fourth book, Dinosaur Point, overall winner of the Poetry Business book and Pamphlet Competition. A recent work, You Should've Seen Us, is a series of poems presented as voice-overs to accompany an edited selection of films from the Yorkshire Film Archive. His latest pamphlet Out of Deep Time, Wayleave Press (2016), with poems on human evolution, forms the basis of his current work in progress. He is also an RLF Consultant Fellow.
Paul Mills is available on Mondays and Fridays during term. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Sayer has been a writer for 30 years. He is the author of eight novels, including The Comforts of Madness, a winner of the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year, the Booker Prize 'long-listed' The Absolution Game, and most recently the historical novel The True Adventures of Richard Turpin. He has also written for The Sunday Times, The Times, The Independent, Time Out, Nursing Standard, and numerous other publications. In addition, he has been a tutor for the Arvon Foundation and was the RLF Fellow at Leeds University for two years, specialising in human geography and environmental studies. A former psychiatric nurse, he retains a particular interest in all nursing and health sciences. Whilst he is open to writing enquiries on most subjects, essays or other samples of work-in-progress would be gratefully received in advance of any meeting.
Paul Sayer is available on Thursdays during term. To contact him, email email@example.com.
The Royal Literary Fund Fellows office is D/L/140, Derwent L Block (ext. 4217).
Please note that there is sometimes a great demand for these meetings. Be sure that when you make an appointment you are able to keep it.
Workshops in basic grammar, seminar skills and essay writing are organised by Jonathan Brockbank.
The University Writing Centre
The Writing Centre is a free service, based in the Harry Fairhurst Building (LFA/102), open to all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students interested in discussing and developing their academic writing.
They offer one-to-one drop-ins (20-30 minutes) and appointments (30 minutes and 50 minutes) during which they help you work on all aspects of academic writing.
Your browser is not secure
You're seeing this page because your web browser tried to connect to Warwick's website with insecure settings. Please upgrade your web browser.
The TLS 1.0 encryption protocol is disabled across the University's web services. Disabling TLS 1.0 prevents it from being used to access Warwick websites via an insecure web browser or application. We've made this change to keep the University's websites safe and secure.
What do I need to do?
When accessing websites using a web browser, ensure you use the latest available version of the browser – whether that is Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari or another browser. Using the latest version keeps you safe online because you're using the most up-to-date security settings.
Why is this happening?
Although TLS 1.0, when configured properly, has no known security vulnerabilities, newer protocols are designed better to address the potential for new vulnerabilities.
The PCI Data Security Standard 3.1 recommends disabling “early TLS”:
“SSL and early TLS are not considered strong cryptography and cannot be used as a security control after June 30, 2016 [without a mitigation strategy for disabling it before June 2018].
The best response is to disable SSL entirely and migrate to a more modern encryption protocol, which at the time of publication is a minimum of TLS v1.1, although entities are strongly encouraged to consider TLS v1.2.”
We need to be PCI-compliant to take online payments at the University. It is not sufficient to merely disable TLS 1.0 on our transaction tracking system as the requirement extends to any system that initiates a payment, including car parking, printer credits, the Warwick website, etc.