Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace
Engaging and direct, Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace is the guidebook for anyone who wants to write well.
Engaging guidebook for anyone who wants to write well.
Style, Clarity, Grace, Form, Ethics Guidelines for writing.
General Interest: Improving writing
Williams begins with the basics and builds up to chapters on style and usage. The underlying themes throughout are two: Good writing is not limited to professional authors - anyone can do it with sufficient practice and a decent amount of concern about what you write; and the rules of grammar and syntax are guides to clear communication. Writers can "bend" and even break them in ...more
Though well written--a prerequisite for a style book--I wasn't blown away by this guide's content. A required text for a rhetorical studies seminar at UC, Riverside, we compared this book with Virginia Tufte's Artful Sentences to glean practical value from a spectrum of books that have the intention of distilling style into a couple hundred pages. The approach in this text comes in response to, and in some ways falls short of, the seminal Elemen ...more
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
When we don't know what we're talking about (or have no confidence in what we do know) we typically write long sentences choked with abstract words.
I suspect that those who choose to observe all the rules all the time do so not because they think they are protecting the integrity of the language or the quality of our culture, but ...more
This book is brilliant. I feel like a better writer for having read it. I wish it had been required when I was taking first-year comp. It fucks the old-school conservativism of Strunk-n-White right in the ear. Williams sidesteps the paralyzing imperatives for pre- and mid-writing processes and skips rig ...more
In contrast to many writing guides, it does not offer any pedestrian advice on common mistakes such as its/it's or affect/effect, it does not overuse jargon, and it does not digress from its purpose. It provides clear, step-by-step instructions for writing tighter sentences and more coherent paragraphs.
A lot of stuff I read in grad school is so dense and cluttered that it is barely comprehensible, so I'm glad that there is a book on how to write sentences that are ...more
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