Non-Fiction Writing

Course summary

Non-Fiction Writing


Are you looking to write something on a private interest, or your ideas or research?

Do you want to brush up on your writing skills – such as how to write more speedily, win the interest of editors and readers, or prepare a text for publication?

This one-day course covers all the essential stages of writing, from planning through to publication. Using example texts and practice exercises, we discuss what makes writing 'good', and we explore what introductions and writing styles can win more people's attention.

We also look at how to write with greater ease and speed, and there is a short refresher to tighten up our grammar and punctuation.

It does not matter what you are writing (e.g. essays/dissertations, articles, or a book etc.) – just that you want to write and are looking for tips and ideas.



Programme details

9.45am                  Registration

10.00am                 Getting stuck into writing

                               Where and how to start

                               How to write with ease and speed

11.00am                 Coffee/tea

11.20am                 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]

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

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

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



Accommodation is often available in Rewley House for those who wish to stay on the night before a course. Please contact our Residential Centre on 01865 270362 for details of availability and prices.


Tuition fee: £66.50
Baguette lunch: £4.70
Full Meal: £13.50


You may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees if you are in receipt of a state benefit e.g. Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Child Tax Credit, Working Tax Credit, Housing Benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance or Severe Disablement Allowance, (a full list is available on request) or your sole source of income is a DWP State Retirement Pension and Pension Credit. Concessionary fees are limited to 3 courses per academic year and if you are already receiving concessions for weekly classes these will be taken into account. Documentary evidence of your status will be required.
Click here for an application form (Word, PDF)


Dr Mashail Haydar 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.