Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide” as Want to Read:
How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  143 ratings  ·  28 reviews
A practical guide to everything you’ll ever need to write—at work, at school, and in your personal life.

With more than two hundred how-to entries and easy-to-use models organized into three comprehensive sections on work, school, and personal life, How to Write Anything covers a wide range of topics that make it an essential guide for the whole family. You want your boss t
Kindle Edition, 560 pages
Published April 7th 2014 by W. W. Norton & Company
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about How to Write Anything, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about How to Write Anything

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  143 ratings  ·  28 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide
Eustacia Tan
May 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How many times do we have to write?

The answer is many. We write text messages, emails, and even the occasional letter (I love getting letters by the way!)

But how do we know if we're writing the same thing? If you're me, you probably had a test called "Situational Writing" in school, which tested you on writing the appropriate letter (For example a complaint).

That's actually a really useful English test, but it's not enough. There are tons of situations and letters that we need to write and the
Kris - My Novelesque Life
Apr 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
(I received an ARC from the NETGALLEY)


I have not really read the entire book as this is more of a reference guide than a book to read cover to cover. I have not really touched the "school" writing section as I have not been a student for quite a while, and am hoping I never have to write a school essay again! I have mostly been reading the other two sections - work and personal. This book is great for any person that writes (or has to write) as it the perfect reference for any kin
May 03, 2014 rated it liked it

Read all my reviews on

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

I think that if you'll ever need to write anything in your life -which is very likely indeed- it will be very unlikely you'll not find how to write it in this book. That are so many entries in the book. Even things I never imagined you could write; like a divorce letter (and a response to one).

I think it's a go
May 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Definitely a well-crafted and very useful resource for any number of writing projects. The title, however, is something of a misnomer: It should probably read "How To Write Anything IN A BUSINESS CONTEXT". Creative writing is not covered here -- there are no "How to write a novel" or "How to write a screenplay" sections. However, for what there IS here it is highly useful and highly recommended .
Albert Zhan
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even it is good to second language learner to practice writing skills and to enrich basic knowledge of English-based communication tips, minimising the misunderstanding relating to different cultures.
Sara Diane
May 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I got this from NetGalley to review.

This is a handy how-to, and it helps you figure out how to write just about anything. From thank you notes, to novels, if you want to write something and need some help, this is the book for you.

Since it was a how-to, I didn't read each one, but I picked through enough to know that the advice is sound. And while I'm not one that usually has issues with writing, I found that I might keep it around, just in case.
May 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this book! Everyone who writes, which is to say everyone, should own a copy. It starts with an easy to follow pattern for all writing and then goes on to include a specific outline for how to write literally everything from a thank you note, to an angry note to your neighbor, for real. Great book!
I read this book out of curiosity because it tries to teach you very very specific types of writing, the types you wouldn't usually consider "writing", e.g. say hi to your neighbor. I leaved through it and it's kinda entertaining in some parts...
David Kinchen
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
BOOK REVIEW: 'How to Write Anything: When Laura Brown Says 'Anything', She Means 'Anything'


Laura Brown's "How to Write Anything: A Complete Guide' (W.W. Norton, 608 pages, index, $35.00) is the most comprehensive guide to writing I've seen. I wish the book had been available when I was in college more than 50 years ago.

As it happened, I was blessed with wonderful English teachers in both high school and college -- teachers who inspired me to major in English, which
Miriam Downey
Jun 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Read my full review here: http://mimi-cyberlibrarian.blogspot.c...

Where was How to Write Anything when I was getting started as a self-taught freelance writer and editor? I had to purchase books on writing resumes, white papers, and research reports. In one volume, Brown has given us a guide to almost everything the average person will ever need to write. It will be an enormous help, and I am excited to include it on my shelf. But, it is also a great guide for anyone who writes anything. Should
Viviane Crystal
Jun 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
With the prevalence of texting and email with its abbreviated spelling, the art of writing is for many young people an unknown reality. Laura Brown has provided a guide to almost every type of writing that will be required by a student, worker or any individual needing to communicate in correct and appropriate form. Section I and II address the need to have a clear purpose and knowledge of one’s audience when communicating, including the need to revise over and over again so that one conveys a p ...more
Edythe Hamilton
Aug 26, 2014 rated it really liked it

“There’s nothing wrong with the six-step process…The real key to success is not going through these six steps in any particular order but simply in ensuring that you’ve touched all bases at least once as you go through the writing process.” –Laura Brown

How to Write Anything begins with the basic six-step process of writing as know your purpose, know your reader, brainstorm, organize, draft, and revise to create and finalize your writing project. There are several areas covered in this handy refe
May 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
How to Write Anything is, just as the title says, the complete guide to writing just about anything a modern person would need to know from simple notes to long letters to college essays to PowerPoint presentations. However, unlike many books from W W Norton, this book is more a reference or guide book than a textbook or a general readership book. In fact, I would go so far as to say this would make the perfect reference guide for high school students and college freshman rather than the general ...more
Michelle Kidwell
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How to Write Anything
Laura Brown
Copyright 2014

How to Write Anything is a collection of invaluable articles fof authors snd students alike.  This book covrrs everything from writing the Personal Essay to writing text messages an even shows you how to properly write a thank you message.

Laura Brown puts together a book evrry household shoulf hsve a book that shows you how to anf how not to craft everything from a Wedding Announcement to a personal blog. It covers everything from organizing to writi
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-review
This hefty compendium doesn’t seem to have left anything out. Brown has compiled a resource that covers it all. Beginning with the more typical — thank-you note, cover letter, letter of recommendation — Brown also examines best practices for business Facebook updates, a note to the babysitter and divorce condolences. Each heading has a description of the item to be written and an example of what not to do, and what one should do.

Brown approaches each item with six steps: purpose, reader, brainst
Nathanael Green
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Straight forward, practical advice for writing most practical things. This, I think, will be a book that is at-hand for many students, and especially those who feel the need for a little extra, clear writing support.
Maria Tizon
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
How to Write Anything is a thorough and very well thought out reference book. It covers a wide array of topics from divorce announcements to resumes and provides tips on the dos and do-nots and the pitfalls we all fall into as we write. This is not the sort of book you read straight through but rather a valuable reference to return to time and time again depending on what you are writing. It is laid out in logical order with ease and sufficiency in mind. How to Write Anything will come in handy ...more
Margo Kelly
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW! What an amazing reference book! This book is huge with quality information on writing everything from a note to leave on a windshield to a business speech. And there are examples of what NOT to write ... "To the Moron in the Mazda -- Nice alliteration but not likely to encourage cooperation" (page 173).

There are helpful lists of things to do and not to do. There are tips for writing in high school, college, the work force, and everyday life.

This would make an excellent gift for a graduating
Jen Johnson
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Didn't get to read as much of this as I wanted to, but was able to order a copy for the library so it should at least be close by as a reference. I LOVE the way things are laid out-clear, concise, and with reasons behind the do's and don'ts. A huge range of situations are covered, including windshield notes, recipes, holiday letters, and even online reviews! One thing that I found lacking was online dating profiles, tho there is lots about social media so I think it would be comparable. Looking ...more
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the most comprehensive book on writing I've seen in a long time. It is concise and well organized. It covers everything from personal letters to complaints, and college essays. The table of contents has it divided into logical sections. A workplace condolence to an internet posting. Only book you will need.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow. This is quite a useful reference book! From thank you notes to taking notes to lab reports, speeches, blogs, power point presentations and so much more, this book has it all in a like this, not like that format. I think that high school and college students and adults will find this to be a handy and useful reference book. I received this book free to review from Netgalley.
Pam Thomas
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a brilliant book. I loved it, it covers a wide spectrum of topics, provides easy to use models for work, school, home life even down to projects. It has to be one of a kind book as I have never seen one like it, it uses common sense, complete guide and is user friendly, supporting, internet friendly, email, pen, paper and everything would every want rolled into one book.
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
fantastic resource, love having a hard copy of this book
Lisa Daleiden-brugman
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is actually a really great resource book for just about any writing situation. Would maybe be good for a HS grad gift? Or maybe even middle school grad?
Heydi Smith
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
The reference guide for anyone who's ever picked up a pen. I found so much to love about this book it was hard to take back to the library.
Masatoshi Nishimura
May 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: drills
A solid book that covers all formats from wedding greeting to 140 words tweets. She's expertise in wide range, and good vs bad contrasts are helpful.
rated it it was amazing
Nov 24, 2014
Kenneth Stokes
rated it really liked it
Jan 03, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 26, 2014
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great help for a review of writing skills. It thoroughly covers all aspects of writing and would be great for someone who needed a reminder of writing skills, like myself. If you're looking to grow in writing and share your own story, I recommend you use this book!
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • قالوا
  • 50 Human Brain Ideas You Really Need to Know
  • Authority and the Individual
  • The Keeper of Sheep
  • الساعة 7:46 مساءً
  • The Book of Sand and Shakespeare's Memory
  • المخوزق
  • Os Livros Que Devoraram o Meu Pai
  • منسية
  • ‫حين تصبح الأيام أصعب: دليل مبسط لحيل تعلمتها للتعامل مع الإكتئاب بشكل يومي‬
  • Angst
  • Daddy-Long-Legs (Daddy-Long-Legs, #1)
  • An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness
  • Seriously... I'm Kidding
  • வாடிவாசல் [Vaadivaasal]
  • Why I Assassinated Mahatma Gandhi
  • درخت زیبای من
  • The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town
See similar books…
Laura Brown, PhD, has taught writing to just about everyone—from corporate executives to high school students. Her expertise encompasses instructor-led training, individual coaching, classroom teaching, and e-learning development. She has more than twenty-five years’ experience providing training and coaching in business writing, and she has also taught composition and literature at Columbia Unive ...more

Related Articles

  The cohosts of the By the Book podcast, Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzer, are hitting the bookshelves themselves this spring with thei...
54 likes · 15 comments