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Oxford Guide to Effective Writing and Speaking [Paperback]

John Seely
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Oxford Guide to Effective Writing and Speaking: How to Communicate Clearly Oxford Guide to Effective Writing and Speaking: How to Communicate Clearly 5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
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Book Description

30 Jun 2005 0192806130 978-0192806130 2
The Oxford Guide to Effective Writing & Speaking is the essential guide for everyone who needs to communicate in clear and effective English, both written and spoken. In the first section on communicating in everyday life, chapters cover everything from writing email and faxes to giving presentations and preparing reports. John Seely also offers guidance on understanding the demands of particular audiences, subjects, and situations. With guidelines and exercises, this book will help you to tailor your message and language accordingly. A section on the English language gives authoritative advice on grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation to ensure that communication is accurate as well as appropriate. A final section examines the process of writing itself, including planning and research, drafting, and using technology. New to this edition are advice on writing email and help on writing for the Internet. The Oxford Guide to Effective Writing & Speaking is designed to be practical and user-friendly, with boxed exercises, guidelines, and examples. A glossary and index make the volume easy to use and simple to navigate. This is the most comprehensive guide to using English for effective communication available; it covers an unrivalled range of situations and requirements.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2 edition (30 Jun 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192806130
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192806130
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 15.3 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 54,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Before becoming a full-time writer, I taught English and drama in schools and colleges in Britain, Indonesia, and Kenya. While still teaching, I was lead author of the highly successful series of textbooks, 'Oxford Secondary English'.

In 1987 I stopped teaching to take up writing full-time. Since then I have about a hundred titles to my name, including both educational and trade books, covering topics as diverse as Shakespeare and Pompeii. Recent books include 'The Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation' and 'The Oxford Guide to Effective Speaking and Writing'.

I now run my own company specialising in the authoring, editing and publication of non-fiction print books and ebooks. Recent titles include 'Grammar for Teachers' and 'Lexis: An introduction to English words'.

My latest book is 'ePublish! - From manuscript to finished ebook in 10 easy stages'. Available in print and on Kindle. More information at

To read my blog, and find out more about me and my work, go to More about my books at

Product Description

Amazon Review

We're living in a technological age, with septuagenarians on the net, students glued to mobiles, five-year olds able to programme the class video more effectively than their teacher and communication by fax and e-mail ubiquitous, a fact which John Seely has taken into account in The Oxford Guide to Writing and Speaking.

Seely's book is intensely practical, concerned with the effective use of speech and writing in day-to-day business and academic life. Not only does Seely cover everything from the best way to write a job application to giving a presentation or chairing a meeting, but he also embraces modern technology, including in his opening section, Communicating in Everyday Life, simple guidelines for setting out faxes and e-mails. Rather than lamenting the widespread use of technology, Seely celebrates it, seeing in e-mails a return to the ancient tradition of communication by letter--it's just that ISDN lines and modems are faster than a runner and wax tablet, coach and horses or postman and bike.

His chapters on the English language, its development, grammar, vocabulary and spelling are a very handy reference source for A/S and A2 Level (the old A Level) English Language students--and their teachers! And, for those students beyond A2 Level, grappling with unwieldy arts dissertations or a plethora of lab results, Seely offers practical advice on how to go about planning, researching, writing, drafting and revising reports, papers and essays. There is no longer any excuse for not meeting a coursework or business report deadline. --Amanda Cameron --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Seely is the author of numerous books on the English language and on communication, including Everyday Grammar (2001) and the Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation (2004). He is the series editor for Oxford's One Step Ahead series.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good reference book 5 Jan 2011
By strob
This is a well laid out reference guide; it takes you through the main methods of communication used in the modern world and explains how best to structure your words to ensure you get your point across.

The vast majority of the points in this book are common sense, however, I can see this being very useful for:

1) a teenager looking to expand from school essays to university projects and beyond;
2) someone wanting to dip into the various sections and pick up reminders and tips; and,
3) those looking to generally improve their communication skills.

The chapters contain clear examples and also "bullet point summaries" - very helpful.

You may find yourself disagreeing with Mr Seely in places, I certainly did, however that does not detract from the usefulness of this guide. I have found a place for this next to the dictionary - words alone are not that useful, you need to use them properly and with purpose and that is where this guide comes in handy.

Four stars - one down because I do disagree on several points (but that is just me and my style of writing!)
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class, easy to use and thorough 14 Jan 2008
By Tony Jones VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book crams a lot into its relatively few pages by focusing on key concepts and following its own advice on presentation.

It covers a range of needs from CVs, email and letters to presentations (my interest area).

I found the whole approach on narrative style vs. others; reasons why we communicate and the easy guide to structuring material. As one who is involved in training this has added a lot to my repertoire of material.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful tool 21 May 2010
This is an excellent book - it provides an excellent framework and guidance withoout being too prescriptive. It also reminds us of a few basic truths about communication - clarity, purpose and courtesy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, great help! 10 May 2011
Must have if you are not that confident in your English sometimes. I found it very useful; gives clear explanations, good examples. It's one of the best book I read in the subject, just what I needed.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars review on book OXFORD WRITING AND SPEAKING 9 May 2010
I belong to a writing circle, and I was struggling with my grammar and punctuation until I bought this book. I was confused when using certain words, to which context they belonged
It is well written and easy to understand. The book is well designed. The texture of the paper is pleasant an bright. Th print size is readable not to small, this is important to me, as I am a Senior citizen and my eye site is not as good as it should be. I congratulate the Author for the success in writing it .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living up to its title 17 Oct 2011
An excellent publication looking at communication in all settings and aspects in writing and speaking. It is concise and makes use of simple diagrams where these will save words. There are useful exercises for self-testing in the various topics as they occur - together with explanations where needed. Its introductions to and explanations of the topics covered are a model of economy in words without any loss of clarity. This is a s brilliant exposition of its title.
Another excellent and 'companion' publication to thie book is the Oxford A-Z of Grammar and Punctuation by the same author.
Not only are both of these superb primers they are extremely useful as 'look-up' books for refreshing the memory subsequently.
I cannot recommend these two books too highly .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oxford guide to Effective writing and speaking 19 July 2011
By Kalomo
It is a good book, easy to use. I would recommend it to anyone who want to improve their writing skills.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 18 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a great to have at hand. Don't leave it sitting on that book shelf, get writing, improve the way you communicate. Don't consider, buy!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 days ago by Domi D
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
The book arrived in good time and was well packed. the book is a very good study aid and very well laid out. Fellow students have already taken an interest.
Published 4 months ago by YCYMRO
5.0 out of 5 stars essential for aspiring writers
I ordered this book for the 'speaking' content. I am about to volunteer for community radio and wanted some guidance. Read more
Published 12 months ago by tigertiger-burning bright
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this.
speaking and writing have been bugbears for me for a while, this book gives clear concise guides to both and really helps me out, if you've ever wondered how a form should be... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Tehlugz
3.0 out of 5 stars So far so good .
Contains up to date writing and speaking manners , do's and don'ts when writing applications for work . And several paragraphs on e-mailing manners and writing . Read more
Published 15 months ago by minnow
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Something for everyone in it.
I'm 20, male. But my English lessons, of late, had gone a bit rusty. And CV/Presentation knowledge very very confused, cluttered with so many online tips and lists from... Read more
Published 16 months ago by LooyDaSixteenth
5.0 out of 5 stars This gives great overview - I'm really surprised
The is great for refreshing your approach to meetings, presentations, CVs, Grammer...etc a really helpful book that I keep going back too (i'm now going to check if that is the... Read more
Published 16 months ago by William Fooks
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise and to the point
Rather difficult to 'review' a book like this. Delivers what is promised and is well laid out and is easy to use. I refer to it quite often.
Published 19 months ago by Paul Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonus item
This was on offer when I bought the dictionary, theasarus and grammar books. Thought I would be useful for son now he's in a grammar school as well as help to sharpen my... Read more
Published on 7 Oct 2011 by shiney
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