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When Good People Write Bad Sentences: 12 Steps to Better Writing Habits
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When Good People Write Bad Sentences: 12 Steps to Better Writing Habits

3.04  ·  Rating details ·  27 Ratings  ·  6 Reviews
At last, help for writers who can admit they have a problem.

Do you get a lift by dangling a participle? Has your punctuation ever caused difficulties at home or at work? Do you consider yourself just a "social misspeller?"

These are just a few of the warning signs that you might have an addiction to bad writing. But fear not. This practical guide to eliminating bad writing
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 14th 2004 by St. Martin's Griffin
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John McDonald
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
"Did you hear about the guy who worried so much about punctuation that he developed digestive problems? He had an operation and wound up with a semicolon."

It never hurts to fine tune your writing or to remind yourself of common habits that make writing boring, unclear, onerous, or just wrong. Robert Harris does that in this book, and he does so in a manner that is concise and clear, and much like the joke quoted above, sometimes funny, or partly funny.

Some may criticize the content of the book a
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Paul
Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: writing
If I can recommend only one book on the craft of writing, this is it. Wherever you use English - school reports, blogs, business proposals, or novels - this book can help you do so more effectively, more efficiently and more enjoyably.

Most books on writing just lay down the law. Robert W. Harris doesn't make that mistake. From the outset, he acknowledges that bad writing is an addiction; an -ism that is given to misdirect your pen. We are gripped by malescribism! This book is a treatment plan fo
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Melanie
Sep 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Some useful tips in this book but I could have lived without all the 12 step program references and satire, but I guess one needs some kind of gimmick to set their writer's craft book apart from all the other ones. I mainly skipped over those parts and got right to the information I needed.

The author also lost me when he suggested one use italics to get points across. That is no longer done in writing. Also, some of this book addresses business writing rather than creative writing, so I think t
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John
Apr 19, 2016 rated it did not like it
A didactic lecture on "malescibism" anonymous; the author slogs on and on, plodding and wasting time on nonessential material. It's ironic that in trying to improve one's superficial grammar, this book becomes lengthy, verbose and malescibism. The book is mindnumbingly boring!

I recommend reading "Write Tight" if you're looking to improve your writing and speaking skills.
Debbie
Dec 02, 2008 marked it as to-read
I started this book long ago and recall that it is worthy...note to self: read it.
Andrea
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2012
Simon
Apr 10, 2017 rated it liked it
This book contains helpful tips on how to develop better writing habits. I will likely keep it in my library for future reference.

While I have come to appreciate the sub-genre of humorous grammar books, I did not find the '12 step program' approach of this book to be humorous or very helpful.
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Librarian Note:
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Robert W. Harris earned degrees in art and cognitive psychology and then worked as a teacher for ten years. Since 1990, he has authored a dozen books, including When Good People Write Bad Sentences (St. Martin’s Press).
More about Robert W. Harris