Writing Essays 3.0


A software program that covers every aspect of essay writing – from note-taking and making essay plans to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Learn how to write good introductions, use quotations effectively, and construct persuasive arguments. Plus huge range of sample essays and tutor-marked assignments.



Downloadable software program

Writing Essays 3.0 covers every aspect of essay writing – from note-taking and making essay plans to referencing and avoiding plagiarism. Learn how to write good introductions, use quotations effectively, and construct persuasive arguments. Suitable for all students in further and higher education. Includes a wide range of sample essays in humanities and social sciences. Runs in any Web browser. Latest version lets you customise your choice of screen fonts and background colours.

Sample screenshots     PlanningPunctuationQuotations


This program will help you to write better essays. Your grades will improve. You will learn the techniques and develop the skills required for producing successful essays and term papers. The guidance is arranged in A to Z format.

A brief review
Analyse the question – Generate ideas – Choose topics – Reading – Selection process – Put topics in order – Arrange material – Make changes – Finalise plan – First draft – Paragraphs – Revising draft – Editing.

A good essay
Answers the question – Clear structure – Appropriate style – Arguments supported by evidence – Shows clear thinking – Wide reading – Originality.

Common abbreviations used in referencing sources and showing bibliographic details.

How to maintain correct agreement between subjects and their verbs.

Analyse questions
How to recognise key terms and instruction terms in the question(s) you have been asked.

How to use the apostrophe correctly in contractions and the possessive case.

How to present your observations in the form of arguments supported by evidence.

How to create and present a list of the works you have used or quoted from in your essay.

The correct way to use round and square brackets in academic writing.

Capital letters
Where to use capitals in the names of people, titles, places, events, and institutions.

How to assess and organise the topics you are going to use in the construction of your essay plan.

Checking drafts
A checklist of what to look for after you have completed the first draft of your essay. It’s easy to forget details: a checklist helps.

The colon is used to introduce a list, or to separate two clauses. How to do it.

When and how to use commas in your writing.

A conclusion should draw together and summarise all the arguments in your essay.

The commonly used system for referring to days, dates, and seasons in academic writing.

How multiple drafts can help you to produce better work

A checklist to help you eliminate small blemishes and mistakes in your writing.

Electronic sources
How to cite correctly and give references from electronic sources in your work.

How to represent bibliographic information of works from which you have quoted, in a separate list of notes at the end of the essay.

How to deal with the information you need to support your arguments.

Exam essays
How to produce essays under the pressure of limited time during an examination. Some tips and tricks.

How to represent bibliographic information of works from which you have quoted, in a separate list of notes at the foot of each page of the essay.

Full stops
How to use full stops correctly – and where they are not needed.

How to recognise and avoid the common mistake of making general rather than specific claims.

Generating ideas
How to create the ideas and the arguments for your assignment – free thinking and capturing data.

How to understand the traditional systems of awarding grades to academic essays.

Grammar checkers
How to use them to improve the quality of your writing.

Some basic guidelines for improving your grammar without learning complex rules.

Harvard referencing
How to use the popular Harvard system of bibliographic referencing.

How and when to use hyphens – and when they are not used.

An explanation of the terms commonly used in essay questions and instructions – and what they require in your answer(s).

How to get an essay off to a good start. It must be relevant, and it should be short.

How to recognise specialist language – and understand where it is appropriate – and when it is not.

Key terms
How to identify and understand the most important words in essay questions

How to arrange and print your text on the page to make it as attractive and readable as possible.

Length of essays
How to stay within the word limit, and how to edit your work if you have exceeded the word count.

Line references
How to show references to quotations from plays and poetry.

How to recognise and avoid the common mistake of unwanted moral judgements.

How to represent the names of people, organisations, places, and events in academic writing.

How to deal with subjects which involve a ‘story of what happened’ (history, fiction) without getting lost in events.

How to represent the numbers of things mentioned in an essay.

How to create the structure and arrange the elements of an effective paragraph.

How to understand plagiarism, and avoid it by acknowledging your sources.

Planning essays
Analyse the question – Generate ideas – Choose topics – Arrange order – Provide evidence – Make charges – Finalise plan – Check for relevance. Sample plan.

How to maximise the visual impact of your essay by using margins, white space, headings, line-spacing, and emphasis.

The basic rules of punctuation, plus guidance on using marks such as the dash, hyphen, oblique stroke, and quote marks.

Do not pose your answer in the form of questions. In fact do not raise questions in essays – unless you are going to answer them.

How to quote from other people’s work in your essay – and how to make sure that your quotes are tied back accurately to bibliographical citations.

A checklist for re-writing your work to improve its quality.

How to decide on the amount of research your assignment requires – at various levels.

How to show bibliographic references in your work, using traditional systems.

How to avoid repeating the same names (people and places) and key words.

How to improve the quality of your essay by editing and re-writing it before submission.

How to use Internet search engines to locate materials and information.

How to understand the semicolon and use it correctly. If in doubt, don’t use it.

How to create simple and effective sentences. Follow the simple Subject – Verb – Object pattern of writing.

Avoid heavy-handed signals of intent in your essay. Let your arguments speak for themselves.

Spelling checkers
The strengths and weaknesses of spell checkers, and how to use them.

The importance of good organisation – and how to create it in your work.

A simple prose style will help you to avoid the problems of over-complicated writing.

Taking notes
How to take efficient notes when reading, listening to lectures, or watching videos. An example of a good set of notes.

How to choose the right tense to discuss a text and describe events from the past.

How to show the titles of articles, journals, newspapers, magazines, films, and books.

How to create a persuasive tone for an essay, which is engaging but not too personal.

The relationship between your chosen topics and the structure of your essay.

Tutor comment
Learning from the comments a tutor may write on your essay. It’s valuable feedback.

How to use the power of a word-processor to improve the quality of your work.

Writer’s block
Seven effective techniques for getting words onto the page. Recognising the type of block. How to generate more text.

Writing strategies
Six different approaches to composition – from improvisation to cut and paste.


Bibliographic Studies
M.A. in Humanities
Classical Civilization
G.C.S.E. ‘A’ level
Current Affairs
Access to F & HE
Economics – I
First year BA studies
Economics – II
First year undergraduate
G.C.S.E. ‘A’ level
English Language
G.C.S.E. ‘A’ level
Health Care Studies
M.Sc in Health Care
Human Biology
A.E.B. ‘A’ level
Literary Studies – I
Third year BA studies
Literary Studies – II
Third year BA studies
Literary Studies – III
Third year – exam essay
Literary Studies – IV
Access to further education
Literary Studies – V
Postgraduate studies<
Literary Studies – VI
Third year – exam essay
Media Studies
G.C.S.E. ‘A’ level
First year BA studies
G.C.S.E. ‘A’ level
Social Studies
Access to further education
Second year BA studies
First year undergraduate


Easy to install – extensive hypertext links – simple to use – robust performance – runs in your web browser


“It’s logical, accessible, and easy to navigate” – Bournemouth University


Dr Roy Johnson is the author of best-selling writing and study guides – Studying Fiction, Making the Grade, Improve your Writing Skills, Writing Essays 3.0, and several others. He was originally an industrial designer, then went on to lecture on literary studies at Manchester University and the Open University. He publishes a monthly newsletter on writing, culture, and technology, and is the director of Mantex Information Design.


Price – £4.95 [$8.00 – €5.00 equivalent]
2.0 MB disk space – 4MB RAM minimum – Windows / Mac / Linux
Version 3.0 issued October 2008 – ISBN 0951984489

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