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The Little Red Writing Book: 20 Powerful Principles of Structure, Style, & Readability
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The Little Red Writing Book: 20 Powerful Principles of Structure, Style, & Readability

3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  223 ratings  ·  35 reviews
With "The Little Red Writing Book, writers will never need to fear the big, bad world of writing again.
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Writer's Digest Books (first published 2004)
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Seems geared toward undergraduates learning to write expository papers. Nothing terribly enlightening, but some good reminders. I was fairly pleased with it until I got to Principle 11: Gain Active Power. The section begins with--and I promise I'm not making this up--the following sentence:

"In general, the active voice is preferred to the passive voice because the active voice is more action oriented."

I wanted very much to believe this was an attempt at a joke, but the book is so serious in tone
Excellent little book full information on structure, style, readability and grammar. Easy to read, full of examples for both "correct" and "incorrect" and a little humor.

The section on structure pertains to writing from the "top down." In other words, tell the reader what your point is FIRST, then explain. Also, how to break things down, use transition words, stick to one topic.

The section on style covers a wide array of topics: support what you say, personalize examples, keep it simple, no lon
Concise. Cute. Almost too cute. Short, accessible chapters and good exercises to illustrate points. I disagree with some of this book's assertions about what good writing is, but overall, it's a nice little grammar and style guide.
This book is for beginners of writing essays and book reports and the like. I didn't really find any of his insight helpful to improve my creative writing. But I would definitely give this book to youngsters who have an interest in writing in general. It will help to curve bad habits and give them a better understanding of what goes where in an essay. His layout is colorful and easy to follow and you breeze through the book without really getting bored of it, unlike when certain teachers are lec ...more
Mar 21, 2012 Grace rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in improving their writing.
This is actually a pretty good reference book. I found it quick, easy to read. This is particularly good since I don't really dig reading how to write books, but this little 160 page book was a wonderful tool to remind me not only write, but how to write well and smoothly.(OK, so a wee bit more smoothly, I still need more practise.)

The front of the book declares that it has 20 powerful principles of structure, style, and readability. The author holds up to this promise, and adds a little more.
Andrew Knighton
A useful, concise guide to techniques for structuring writing. There are enough exercises to give oyu some practice without bogging you down, but you could equally skip them and still learn a lot. Also contains an excellent section on grammar. This is one I'll keep reaching for when I want to sharpen up my writing.
The Little Red Writing Book is a good review of 20 basic writing principles with several exercises included to give the reader practice applying each of them. It would be a good resource for anyone teaching writing or wishing to brush up his or her writing skills. The main focus of this book is expository writing, though many of the same principles can also be applied to creative writing. I think it could be quite useful for students preparing for the essay portion of the SAT. Writing is a negle ...more
Using this book to help with my writing. It's a helpful tool.
Mike Duron
This is a pretty simple and straightforward book that would be useful for a novice or part-time writer (such as somebody just trying to write a more formal communication for a corporate environment and isn't looking to be the next Tolstoy or Joyce). You'll even learn how to be 'politcally astute' in the section named "Keep Your Writing Gender Neutral." (The book calls it 'politically astute', but pretty much everyone else would write 'politically correct', of course.)

All in all, this book is oka
Found this on the "Recommended" table at an independent bookstore. Nice little guidebook.
Fup Duck
A very concise book on some general rules of writing and grammar. Almost a primer for students of writing or a refresher for some of us that have forgotten so much since grade school and high school. This book is more for writing in general rather than creative writing; information that you might find in a 100 level college course or freshman English class.
Cindy Huskey
If only I'd found this book 4 years ago, I could've saved myself countless hours of creating handouts with the same types of exercises and examples of what NOT to do when writing. I could've just bought a class set of this book, and used it as our grammar/writing book. I know it's crazy to give five stars to a writing handbook, but the fairytale-esque quality of the chapter titles and illustrations add that little extra something that warrants an extra star.
This book has some useful information in the basics of writing, but is not really appropriate for my AP or Junior classes. It is very formulaic (It highly recommends the 5 paragraph essay and even at one point allows for a "I am going to argue _________" formula for the thesis, which it refers to as a conclusion.) but I feel I could have used SOME of this book for my old Senior Lit and Tech class as it would be much more applicable to technical writing.
Disclaimer: I am a writing and grammar nut, as well as an English teacher. That being said, I've read a lot of writing books that are much longer than this one and don't pack nearly the same powerful punch.

Short and sweet, this book covers the basic principles of good writing very effectively. It is something I could easily adapt to use with my students. In fact, I plan on covering a principle a week in conjunction with our established curriculum.
Lady Joyful
May 03, 2013 Lady Joyful rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers, Students
Shelves: non-fiction, writing
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction, for work or for fun, this book is full of handy little tips to improve your writing. The exercises are well-thought out and very helpful for practising the concepts, and the section at the end that gives an overview of the principles and rules will surely be useful for quick checks during writing. All-in-all a useful little book that I would certainly recommend to writers of any kind.
Good, consice, clear. Found an error: a table has the wrong heading for the continuous and standard tenses.
Richard Stephenson
I liked it!

While I should have paid more attention to the intended audience (especially since the author was up-front with it!), I did find some use with this one. I learned a few things I missed from some time ago and got a refresher on the rest. Don't mean I gotta do any of it! LOL :P
Malcolm Bastien
Good reference to have around that blends in a bit of style advice. Though to really get better I think something like On Writing Well is a better text. This has a substantial grammar section as well. Grammar is much to big with too many rules to remember, a reference like this is good to have.
Jan 03, 2008 Michel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who desire to write well
Recommended to Michel by: librarian
A good compact writing companion that is easy to read. The layout is attractive with its sepia toned illustrations and no nonsense advice. If you want a condensed book on structure, style and readability this is the right book for you.
I found this book a little primitive for my tastes. But if your are just starting out and have no idea how to start writing...this book is a great tool! Perfect for a beginner...not so perfect for someone who is not a beginner!
Apr 23, 2011 Ted rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Writers of all walks.
There is nothing really "new" here as far as material. However, it is an excellent reminder of common mistakes many writers experience, and the correct steps to fix them.

It's a great tool for a "writers toolbox".
This is a wonderful little book, full of great tips, helpful hints, and engaging illustrations. Everything I read was like an eye-opener, a new "aha" in my head. I recommend it for anyone who is any kind of writer.
So far, pretty good. It's a basic "how to write" book. The format is GORGEOUS and totally creative and beautiful. It's a very pleasant read and a good refresher course--esp. for investigative/reporting style writing.
Aug 16, 2012 Bill rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: writers
Recommended to Bill by: Amazon suggested reading
Very quick and easy to read -- and effective as a result. The only thing I don't like (about my hardcover copy) is that it has red/burgundy ink. It becomes difficult to read in lower light readings.
Cute book. A good review for me. But I thought the grammar section was poorly structured. It was okay for someone trying to write a paper in high school/college though.
Very basic principles that beginning writers should employ and seasoned writers should instinctually know. A quick reference guide to keep handy.
An extensive and dense booklet. It includes clear summaries, handy exercises and clarifying examples. A handy tool to have when writing in English.
Christian Abraham
Simple and fun. Helps me remember little things I forget when I fall into ruts of poor writing.
Christina Gaudet
Beautiful, simple, and easy to follow. This book has some great tips for all types of writers.
Ben Potter
This book was informative. It helped me understand how to write more effectively.
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