On Writing Well

On Writing Well

The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

eBook - 2006
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Warns against common errors in structure, style, and diction, and explains the fundamentals of conducting interviews and writing travel, scientific, sports, critical, and humorous articles.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, [2006]
Edition: 30th anniversary ed., 7th ed., rev. and updated.
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9780062250506
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xiii, 321 pages) : facsimile

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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.

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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