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 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
* 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
* 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
* 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.
"Guides to writing--some in print, others in software--continue to proliferate; the best-written this year is "The New Oxford Guide to Writing."--William Safire, New York Times Sunday Magazine