The New Oxford Guide to Writing

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9780195045383: The New Oxford Guide to Writing
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Many books on writing tell you how to think more creatively, how to conjure up an idea from scratch. Many, once you have an idea, show you how to express it clearly and elegantly. And many handbooks offer reliable advice on the use of commas, semicolons, and so forth. But The New Oxford Guide to Writing does all three, so that no matter where you find yourself in the writing process--from the daunting look of a blank page, to the rough draft that needs shaping, to the small but important questions of punctuation--you will find what you need in one handy, all-inclusive volume.
Highlighted by numerous examples of successful prose--including marvelous, brief excerpts from Mark Twain, Joan Didion, H.L. Mencken, E.B. White, and Annie Dillard--this stimulating volume covers the entire subject step-by-step, clearly and authoritatively. It shows:
___*How to use commonplace books and journals to store
____ideas, how to brainstorm, how to explore a potential
____topic systematically
___*How to use a statement of purpose or an outline to
____give preliminary shape to your material, how to use
____drafts and revisions (and more revisions) to refine
____your ideas
___*How to open an essay clearly and interestingly, how to
____lead the reader subtly, how to use qualifications to
____express complexity without sacrificing impact
___*How to organize ideas into a coherent paragraph, how
____to vary sentence structure and length for variety and
____emphasis
___*How to select words that convey both information and
____point of view
___*And much, much more
In addition, it contains a useful appendix on punctuation, ranging from commas and periods to underlining and capitalization.
Whether you write for business or for pleasure, whether you are a beginner or an experienced pro, The New Oxford Guide to Writing is an essential addition to your reference library, providing abundant assistance and encouragement to write with more clarity, more color, and more force.

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Review:

There is an apparently endless supply of books about writing. Very few of those books, surprisingly, offer a thorough and scholarly approach to the basics: words, sentences, and paragraphs. The New Oxford Guide to Writing does. According to author Thomas S. Kane, writing is "an exercise of mind requiring the mastery of techniques anyone can learn." Kane's not claiming he can create a genius, but, as he says in his introduction, "you don't have to be a genius to write clear, effective English." The writing that Kane refers to here is expository and persuasive in nature--writing most likely to be required in day-to-day life. In great detail Kane explores the building of an essay, the development of paragraphs, the styling of sentences, the use of diction, and, finally, issues of punctuation. It is unlikely that very many writers have scrutinized the building blocks of language the way Kane has, but it's never too late. Rare is the sourcebook that can offer so much both to beginners and experts alike. And anyone who loves words will thrill to encounter--if he or she hasn't done so already--the freight-train sentence, parataxis, the triadic sentence, polysyndeton, asyndeton, collocation, and zeugma. --Jane Steinberg

About the Author:


About the Author:
Thomas Kane was formerly Professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Waterbury, where he taught writing for over twenty-five years. He co-edited The Short Story and the Reader and Writing Prose, Sixth Edition, both with Leonard J. Peters, and wrote The Oxford Guide to Writing.

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