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One Hundred Ways to Improve Your Writing

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This is the one guide that anyone who writes -- whether student, business person, or professional writer -- should put on the desk beside pencil, pen, typewriter, or word processor. Filled with professional tips and a wealth of instructive examples, this valuable, easy-to-use handbook can help you solve any and all writing problems.
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Overview

This is the one guide that anyone who writes -- whether student, business person, or professional writer -- should put on the desk beside pencil, pen, typewriter, or word processor. Filled with professional tips and a wealth of instructive examples, this valuable, easy-to-use handbook can help you solve any and all writing problems.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451624253
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/1/1985
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction xiii
I. Nine Ways to Improve Your Writing When You're Not Writing 1
1. Get Some Reference Books 3
2. Expand Your Vocabulary 5
3. Improve Your Spelling 6
4. Read 8
5. Take a Class 9
6. Eavesdrop 11
7. Research 12
8. Write in Your Head 14
9. Choose a Time and Place 15
II. Nine Ways to Overcome Writer's Block 17
1. Copy Something 19
2. Keep a Journal 20
3. Talk About What You're Writing 21
4. Touch Your Toes 22
5. Do Writing Exercises 22
6. Organize Your Material 23
7. Make a List 24
8. Picture a Reader 25
9. Ask Yourself Why You Are Writing 26
III. Five Ways to Write a Strong Beginning 29
1. Find a Slant 31
2. Write a Strong Lead 32
3. Don't Make Promises You Can't Keep 36
4. Set a Tone and Maintain It 36
5. Begin at the Beginning 38
IV. Nine Ways to Save Time and Energy 41
1. Use Pyramid Construction 43
2. Use Topic Sentences 44
3. Write Short Paragraphs 46
4. Use Transitional Phrases 46
5. Don't Explain When You Don't Have To 48
6. Use Bridge Words 49
7. Avoid Wordiness 50
8. Steal 51
9. Stop Writing When You Get to the End 52
V. Ten Ways to Develop Style 55
1. Think About Style 57
2. Listen to What You Write 58
3. Mimic Spoken Language 59
4. Vary Sentence Length 60
5. Vary Sentence Construction 61
6. Write Complete Sentences 63
7. Show, Don't Tell 65
8. Keep Related Words Together 66
9. Use Parallel Construction 67
10. Don't Force a Personal Style 68
VI. Twelve Ways to Give Your Words Power 71
1. Use Short Words 73
2. Use Dense Words 74
3. Use Familiar Words 74
4. Use Active Verbs 75
5. Use Strong Verbs 76
6. Use Specific Nouns 78
7. Use the Active Voice...Most of the Time 80
8. Say Things in a Positive Way ... Most of the Time 82
9. Be Specific 83
10. Use Statistics 85
11. Provide Facts 86
12. Put Emphatic Words at the End 87
VII. Eleven Ways to Make People Like What You Write 89
1. Make Yourself Likable 91
2. Write About People 92
3. Show Your Opinion 93
4. Obey Your Own Rules 95
5. Use Anecdotes 96
6. Use Examples 97
7. Name Your Sources 98
8. Provide Useful Information 100
9. Use Quotations 100
10. Use Quotes 102
11. Create a Strong Title 104
VIII. Ten Ways to Avoid Grammatical Errors 105
1. Respect the Rules of Grammar 107
2. Do Not Change Tenses 108
3. Know How to Use the Possessive Case 109
4. Make Verbs Agree With Their Subjects 110
5. Avoid Dangling Modifiers 112
6. Avoid Shifts in Pronoun Forms 112
7. Avoid Splitting Infinitives 113
8. Avoid These Common Mistakes 114
9. Be Sensitive to Changes in the Language 115
10. Prefer Good Writing to Good Grammar 116
IX. Six Ways to Avoid Punctuation Errors 119
1. Use Orthodox Punctuation 121
2. Know When to Use a Comma 122
3. Know When to Use a Semicolon 126
4. Know When to Use a Colon 127
5. Use Exclamation Points Only When Exclaiming and Question Marks Only When Asking Questions 127
6. Know How to Use Quotation Marks 128
X. Twelve Ways to Avoid Making Your Reader Hate You 133
1. Avoid Jargon 135
2. Avoid Cliches 136
3. Avoid Parentheses 137
4. Avoid Footnotes 138
5. Don't Use Transitions to Conceal Information 138
6. Don't Acknowledge When You Should Explain 139
7. Don't Hide Behind Your Words 140
8. Don't Intrude 142
9. Don't Play Words Games 143
10. Don't Play the Tom Wolfe Game 143
11. Don't Play the Mystery Game 144
12. Don't Cheat 145
XI. Seven Ways to Edit Yourself 149
1. Read Your Work Out Loud 151
2. Cut Unnecessary Words 152
3. Think About What You Have Written 153
4. Ask Yourself These Questions 154
5. Follow These Rules of Form for Titles 155
6. Prepare a Perfect Manuscript 156
7. Use Common Sense 156
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