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Writing is one of the most challenging aspects of English to teach, partly because many students have not been taught all the skills that they need in their first language and partly because many students are unenthusiastic about the subject. I've run a large number of workshops for writing and I thought it was about time I shared some of my materials and linked to the best of the rest.

Resources on this Website

Lecture Notes

  • Writing Stories (530KB PDF)
    This is day 1 of a 2 day workshop on creative writing.

  • Argumentative Writing (575KB PDF)
    This is day 2 of a workshop on creative writing.

  • Writing Letters and Emails (384KB PDF)
    This is day 1 of a workshop for secondary school children. (Day 2 is a less detailed version of writing stories.)


  • How To Write a Compare and Contrast Essay (107KB PDF)
    Guide to writing Compare and Contrast Essays with Introductions, brainstorming techniques, body styles, conclusions and key vocabulary.

  • Compare and Contrast sentence structures (40KB PDF)
    This can be used as a handout with example sentences or cut up into a matching exercise. The vocabulary in use is based around an ICT project, so only use with fairly tech savvy students.

  • Detailed guide to writing introductions (108KB PDF)
    This guide shows you how to write introductions when in an exam such as IELTs and when doing an assignment.

  • How to Write a Conclusion (86KB PDF)
    Step by step guide to writing a simple conclusion

  • Assignment Checklist (48KB PDF)
    A simple checklist to ensure that students cover the basics. You can use this file directly or use it as an inspiration for your own list.

  • Top 25 Moments of 2007 (202KB PDF)
    This is a good opportunity for students to describe pictures and write their own reflections on the year. Also useful for IELTs students, because it has an IELTs Task 2 Writing.

  • Sample Comparative Review Outlines (39KB PDF)
    A handout with sample comparative review outlines to give students a guide when writing them.

  • Writing Stories Handout (63KB PDF)
    A handout that explains the basics of writing a good story

  • Writing Argumentative Essays Handout (27KB PDF)
    A handout that explains the basics of writing argumentative essays.

  • TV Vs Books (50KB PDF)
    A compare and contrast sample essay with guidance to show the structure. Also includes exercise for error correction of articles and subject/verb agreement and the form of the verbs for reference.

  • Getting To Know You Survey (53KB PDF)
    A simple survey to encourage students to get to know each other. Also useful for creative writing sessions.

  • Example Argumentative Essay - Dogs Vs Cats (69KB PDF)
    An outrageously biased essay that shows how to do a very simple argumentative piece.

  • Diary Example (52KB PDF)
    An example of a diary with template to make diary writing easier.

  • Why Write Letters? (120KB PDF)
    This handout encourages students to write letters with exercises explaining their relevance and topics that they can write about.

  • Readership Analysis (202KB Zipped PDFs)
    Exercise to encourage to trainees to analyse the readership of magazines, so that they can think about the audience that they are writing for.

Other Useful Pages




The Royal Literary Fund
Three excellent writing guides for students in higher education.

Bogglesworld Writing Skills
A very clean and simple set of resources for writers of all ages.

Excellent guide for writing