On Writing Well

On Writing Well

The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Book - 2001
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On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sole, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 2001
Edition: 25th anniversary ed., 6th ed., rev. and updated., 1st HarperResource Quill ed. --
ISBN: 9780060006648
0060006641
Characteristics: xii, 308 p. --

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htliang
May 05, 2016

I wanted to read this book because of the glowing reviews it received.
Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.
Yes, it is adequately written. Yes, it is informative. Yes, it is funny in sections.

Here are some of the reasons I didn't rate the book higher:
- Not enough "white space". It is daunting to read pages of small text without lots of headings.
- Too much "clutter". Zinsser talks a lot about eliminating clutter, but his chapter on the subject is chock full of "clutter examples" that are all similar. He really only needed to add one or two examples to make his point.
- I don't agree with everything Zinsser recommends. In the chapter dealing with a writer's audience, he says not to try to visualize your audience. Every technical writing class I have enrolled in stressed the importance of thinking about your audience as you write - and I agree.

Comma Sense (Richard Lederer and John Shore) and some the Grammar Girl books (Mignon Fogarty) are much easier to read; however, they focus more on the grammar and punctuation aspects of writing.

n
nsystems
Jan 29, 2015

I write very little. But I'm rereading this, and finding it very helpful, again. It's just full of practical advice. Originally published in 1976, it is still in print!

sn6177nr Aug 28, 2014

This is a thought provoking book on how to write well. It's a must read for any writer, whether you are working on finishing projects for work or school or an aspiring or professional writer, this book will hit on tips that can help anyone improve !

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