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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Cutting Through the Academic Crap, by April Taylor, Reviewed.


Are you a university student, or the parent, best friend, trusted sibling or confidante of such a student? If so, I strongly advise you to read this little book. It took me 40 minutes, that’s all. So, it’s hardly an imposition, is it?
Written in a friendly, approachable style, it details the methods, pitfalls, techniques and crucial points in the process of writing that all-important dissertation. I learned a good deal I didn’t know about this specialist academic topic and was prompted to read the book because my daughter is currently attending university and will be required to produce a dissertation in her final year.
The book is presented in easily digested bites, each of which deals with a specific aspect of the whole. Breaking it down in this way makes a difficult subject more easily understood. The author has personal experience of the needs, having two degrees herself. She demonstrates empathy with the lot of the student and uses some vernacular with which the student should be familiar. But she provides her advice in an authoritative manner without that off-putting arrogance and superiority that defines so much academic writing.
Students who follow her advice and take account of the various pitfalls and distractions she highlights will stand a very good chance of not only completing the dissertation on time, but also of gaining maximum marks. Such a chance to increase the success of all that hard work and study that exemplifies the lot of the student must surely be worth the short time and attention that this essential little book deserves.
So, if you’re studying for that degree, or supporting someone involved in that demanding task, I unconditionally recommend the reading of this book: BEFORE you start.

BTW: this is an ebook, available on Smashwords , Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com  

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