Non-Fiction Writing Skills for Improvers

Course details

From £67.00

Sat 20 Oct 2018

Non-Fiction Writing Skills for Improvers


Are you writing a memoir/biography, or looking to publish an article in a newspaper/magazine, or something for your business? And do you want to brush up your writing skills – to make the writing process easier, share your interests with more readers, and/or edit and finalise a text for publication?

This one-day course goes through some of the essential stages of writing, from planning through to publication. Using example texts and practice exercises, we discuss topics such as: how to write with ease and speed, what makes writing 'good', what makes an effective introduction, and how to write in a particular style. There is also a short refresher to tighten up on your grammar and punctuation.

It does not matter what you are writing (e.g. a book, article, or something for your business), just that you want to write and are looking for some tips and ideas.

(The course is for those whom English is either their first or an additional language.)

Programme details

09.45am                     Registration

10.00am                     Getting stuck into writing

                                   Where and how to start

                                   How to write with ease and speed

11.15am                      Coffee/tea

11.30am                     Thinking about the reader

                                   Who is my audience?

                                   Winning people's attention

                                   Intros and endings

1.00pm                       Lunch

2.00pm                       The essentials of writing

                                    What makes writing 'good'?

                                    Grammar and punctuation reminders

                                    Overcoming writing's challenges            

3.15pm                        Tea/coffee

3.45pm                       Q&A: Next steps for your writing

                                    Finalising your copy

                                    Editing your own work

                                    Effective proofreading                          

5.00pm                       Course disperses


Recommended reading

Bullard, R. Business Writing Tips – For Easy and Effective Results (Perfect Text - Oxford, 2015).  [This is the course tutor]

Truss, L. Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Profile Books, 2003)

The Plain English Campaign – see their Free Guides. (Available at:

Strunk, W. and White, E.B. The Elements of Style (Longman, 2000)


Tuition (includes tea/coffee): £67.00
Baguette lunch: £4.90
Full lunch: £14.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Dr Mashail Ali

Director of Studies

Dr Ali is a Departmental Lecturer and Director of Studies in Language and Cultural Studies, OUDCE.

Mr Robert Bullard


Robert Bullard is an Oxford based writer, editor and trainer in writing skills ( He has been helping businesses and individuals with their writing since 2003, drawing on his previous experience as a feature writer for national broadsheet newspapers and websites, including the Guardian and The Daily Telegraph. He gives several training courses for the Department of Continuing Education.