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On Writing Well (1976)

by William Zinsser

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5,390621,382 (4.13)97
On Writing Well, which grew out of a course that William Zinsser taught at Yale, has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity, and for the warmth of its style. It is a book for anybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does. 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 both fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished practitioner. How to Write a Memoir tells you how to write the story of your life. Everyone has a story - whether you're a professional writer or just want to validate your personal and family reminiscences, William Zinsser explains how to do it, and do it well.… (more)
Recently added byLorieGreene, rlask, CeSalt, private library, AbigailLDick, eerowland1, estestc1, ToddMDick, jahdub
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Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
If everyone read just the first section of this book, email would be tolerable to read. ( )
  helenar238 | Oct 8, 2020 |
When I was in high school, I asked an English teacher to critique my writing. This was a big mistake. She did a great job offering feedback but I was not mature enough to receive it. As a result, the experience turned me off to writing. I struggle to write well but I continue to try and I have come to enjoy the writing experience. In an effort to improve my writing, I picked up On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser. After reading it, I would concur that this book will help you write better. Read more ( )
  skrabut | Sep 2, 2020 |
Zinsser first published this book in 1976 and this version is the seventh edition. Not a bad run and he's had to update it to cope with word processors and computers. I've just recommended it to my son. In fact, I bought it in the quiet hope that he might read it and gain some inspiration.....but no luck there. As one might hope, it is well written and rather easy to read. Short chapters ...active not passive voice. Some really good hints about interviewing people and for including dialogue into your writing. It is shamelessly directed towards non fiction writers and it is clear that Zinsser has done a decent apprenticeship as a writer. He comes across as viewing writing as a job more than as an inspiration. But I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone who is keen to improve their writing ...I love some of his "throw-away"lines (though as he points out they are probably very carefully thought through)... eg. "Leave 'myriad' and their ilk to the poets. Leave 'ilk' to anyone who will take it away".
A seriously useful reference book. I give it five stars. ( )
1 vote booktsunami | Jun 24, 2020 |
Encouraging words for non-fiction writers. ( )
  alyssajp | Jul 29, 2019 |
Clarity. Simplicity. Brevity. Humanity. ( )
  maryroberta | Nov 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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One of the pictures hanging in my office in mid-Manhattan is a photograph of the writer E. B. White.
A school in Connecticut once held "a day devoted to the arts," and I was asked if I would come and talk about writing as a vocation.
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On Writing Well, which grew out of a course that William Zinsser taught at Yale, has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity, and for the warmth of its style. It is a book for anybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does. 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 both fundamental principles as well as the insights of a distinguished practitioner. How to Write a Memoir tells you how to write the story of your life. Everyone has a story - whether you're a professional writer or just want to validate your personal and family reminiscences, William Zinsser explains how to do it, and do it well.

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