On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

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9780062735232: On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Based on a course William Zinsser taught at Yale and his long experience as a writer, editor and teacher, On Writing Well has been praised by journalists, teachers, writers, students, and grateful users since its publication in 1976.

Read by Zinsser with warmth, humor, and encouragement, On Writing Well shows how to apply the author's four principles of writing: Clarity; Simplicity; Brevity; and Humanity. He stresses the importance of reading your writing aloud to hear how it sounds and illustrates the difference between good and bad nouns, and good and bad verbs. Specific examples are given throughout the recording that show how writing can be improved.

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About the Author:


William Zinsser is a writer, editor and teacher. He began his career with the New York Herald Tribune and has long been a freelance writer for leading magazines. During the 1970s he taught writing at Yale, where he was master of Branford College. From 1979 to 1987 he was general editor of the Book-of-the-Month Club. His 15 books, ranging from jazz to baseball, also include Speaking of Journalism, American Places and the influential Writing to Learn. He now teaches at the New School in New York, his hometown.

From AudioFile:

Zinsser's classic belongs on every writer's shelf. It's full of practical, no-frills advice on the basics of writing nonfiction: clarity, simplicity, brevity and humanity. Zinsser also offers unique observations: "An experienced writer learns how to crank up his confidence and self-esteem when he sits down to write." The author's easy-going delivery and warm voice are confidence-building, as well. The discussion is crystal clear and easy to follow as transitional statements carefully lead the listener from one section to the next. Most of all, the tape exudes Zinsser's generosity of spirit, which is sure to inspire any would-be writer. E.K.D. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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William Knowlton Zinsser
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