Average Customer Review: Number of Reviews: 3
A reader from San Marino, California, November 25, 1998,"5 out of 5
A Systematic and Enlightening Guide to Better Writing
For people who are serious about improving their writing skills, this is an excellent how-to book. Prof. voice") or mindless rules of usage and grammar ("don't split infinitives"). Instead, he teaches you, step by step, how to construct sentences and paragraphs that are clear, concise, coherent, even elegant. He explains in great detail the principles and techniques involved in achieving clarity, grace, and other attributes of good writing. And he illustrates these principles and techniques with many specific, telling examples. "Style" is not a quick read, but it is definitely worth the effort.
A reader from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, August 19, 1998, 5 out of
Better than Strunk & White!
The best book on improving your writing that I've ever read. Its strength is that it offers clear, explicit advice on how to improve your writing. I've found it even more helpful than Strunk & White's _The Elements of Style_, although it too is a fine work. If you've already read _Style_, other good books on writing include _The Elements of Style_, mentioned above, and _Line by Line_ by Claire Kehrwald Cook.
A reader from San Francisco, CA, May 8, 1998, 5 out of 5 stars.
The best book on writing ever written
Joseph Williams' book, "Style: Toward Clarity and Grace" is the best book on writing I have ever read, by far. Williams himself describes the emphasis of the book on page one: "Telling me to 'Be clear' is like telling me to 'Hit the ball squarely.' I know that. What I don't know is how to do it." But Williams does know how to write well, and his explanations are precise and concrete.
This book takes a sort of linguistic, almost scientific approach to improving your writing style. I first learned of Williams' work in "The Language Instinct," by the Stephen Pinker, the acclaimed professor of linguistics from MIT.
Unlike every other writing book, this one is more than a laundry list of grammatical shoulds and shouldn'ts. This book is about HOW-- how to write to suit the human brain's innate method of processing information.
I am a professional writer, and I have a whole book case filled with grammar books. But this book is worth more than all the others combined. If you're a writer, this is the book you've been looking for.
Dr. William's book was used in my Advanced Placement Literature class. The little tome showed us that clear writing was not an abstract, metaphysical talent that was divinely bestowed upon only the lucky few. It was, in some ways, an equalizer...
I would recommend this book without reservation. I only wish someone had introduced it to me at the beginning of high school.
Ray Weiss from Los Angeles, CA, November 3, 1997, 5 out of 5 stars.
How to write on complex subjects -- the best book out there
It's not easy to write about or explain complex subjects. To do so requires being able to focus, write concisely, and make the text flow for the reader. Not a trivial task. I know, I am a technical magazine editor and work with about 10 contributed technical articles a month. I just wish contributing writers would read this book. It lays out how to clearly write about very complex topics. And it does so in a very logical and structured manner. It even provides block diagrams to show how to put things together (for you engineers out there). Dr Williams did a fine job. This is not a simple book, nor a quick read. But it is the best book out there for serious non-fiction writers. It works.
Bob Wilmes from Scottsdale, AZ, August 15, 1997, 5 out of 5
If you read only one book on writing, make it this one!
Oftentimes I've admired writers whose succint style and laser-beam like precision gave their writings an impressive and expressive edge. I only wish some wise soul had exposed me to a book such as this 30 years earlier. Please plant the intellectual seeds of sequoias in any young writers you know, and buy a copy of this book as a gift. Professor Williams extraordinary lessons in style, cohesion and use of the English language make this book an absolute joy to read.
A reader, January 23, 1997, 5 out of 5 stars.
It superbly teaches the principles of technical writing.
This book is to me nothing short of a marvel. It systematically and clearly teaches the principles of technical writing. These same principles can be applied often to other writing as well. It gives examples of the problems in this type of writing and has exercises with which the reader can work. I particularly like the summaries at the ends of each chapter. My job requires technical writing, and I am still learning ways from this book to improve my ability in this area. Mr. Williams has produced a real tool of enlightenment. My opinion is based on the third edition while the book is currently in its fifth edition.