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The Penguin Writer's Manual (Penguin Reference Books) [Paperback]

Martin Manser , Stephen Curtis
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

28 Mar 2002 Penguin Reference Books
The Penguin Writer's Manual is the essential companion for anyone who wants to master the art of writing good English. Whether you're composing an essay, sending a business letter or an email to a colleague, or firing off an angry letter to a newspaper, this guide will help you to brush up you communication skills and write correct and confident English.

Frequently Bought Together

The Penguin Writer's Manual (Penguin Reference Books) + The Penguin Guide to Punctuation (Penguin Reference Books) + The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (Penguin Reference Books)
Price For All Three: 18.17

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (28 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140514899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140514896
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 40,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

A Selection of Sample Entries:

`'meter or metre? In British English a metre is a measurement of length equal to 100 centimetres, while a measuring instrument is a meter: to read the meter. Likewise, in British English, the rhythmic pattern of a line of poetry is its metre, though the words for specific types of mere end in -er: hexameter; iambic pentameter. In American English the spelling meter is used for all of these senses'.


'assume or presume? Assume and presume are almost interchangeable in the meaning 'suppose'. Presume is rather more formal and tends to suggest that a supposition is made on the basis of a deduction or a reasonable likelihood, and has a slightly unfavourable tinge, possibly picked up from its other meaning ('to take liberties'): Dr Livingstone, I presume? (who else could it be?); From what you said yesterday, I presumed that you'd already made up your mind. Assume is, however, definitely the word to choose if something is being put forward as a basis for argument: In drawing up your pension forecast, I assumed that interest rates would remain at about 5 per cent'.


'till or until? Till and untill can be used interchangeably. Until is slightly more formal than till and in writing until is more commonly found than till'.

About the Author

MARTIN MANSER is an experienced editor and reference writer. He has written numerous books on language including THE MACMILLAN GUIDE TO ENGLISH GRAMMAR and THE BLOOMSBURY GUIDE TO BETTER ENGLISH and he is also an editor of the forthcoming PENGUIN A-Z THESAURUS. He lives in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 18 Nov 2004
This book is extremely useful. It will help anyone at any level, from a regular or professional writer to someone trying to create a CV or letter.
Everything is explained in simple layman's terms, and is supported by useful everyday examples. The best thing is that it's not at all patronising, it's just very matter of fact.
I would strongly recommend this book, and would also recommend "The Penguin Guide to Punctuation" by Robert L. Trask in the same series.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to turn everyone into a writer 20 April 2007
By Mrs. R.
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I write for a living and I also train others to improve their writing and this lovely little book as been a godsend. I encourage everyone I ever teach to buy it (or get the boss to buy it for them).

It's written so well that you can relax with it over a cup of tea or read it on the train home after a tiring day's work and it won't send you to sleep! It is practical, approachable and has everything it says that good writing should: clarity, simplicity, economy, variety, vigour and suitability.

Mind you, I would have called it the Penguin Writers' Manual. I wonder if they agonised over that. Maybe they want us all to have one each, not to share.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on. 2 Sep 2009
The Penguin Writer's Manual is a perfect addition to any writer's bookshelf. In fact it's a valuable reference for anyone who lays their hand on a pen, pencil or quill.
The book covers pretty much everything from the most basic punctuation; to usage and even writing essays and taking notes.
This book has helped me a lot and I've used it a lot (I've nearly destroyed it from the overuse of a highlighter).
You should get this book if you're looking to brush up on English skills or at college or Uni and want an easy-to-dive-in-and-read reference. Honestly, just get this book it's very good.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic little book! 7 Jan 2012
By Gemma
I am a bit of a pedant when it comes to writing, which makes this book perfect for me! Whether it's to find out whether I should use 'different to' or 'different from' or to give me a bit of info about abbreviations, this is my 'go to' book. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who cares about the words they use!
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First-time the Title says what it means 24 May 2004
By Nikki
I purchased "The Penguin Writer's Manual (Penguin Reference Books)". Although it says reference - it actually is teaching you how to group words into paragraphs. Over-all how to construct paragraphs into an essay.
Not only that, it starts from basics to advance writing essays or novels.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn from scratch or use it as a reference book.
The great thing about this book is that it is so easy to understand. The author has taken great deal of pains taking to explain how the paragraph's can be constructed in a lay man's term.
It is definitely better book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Every day practical use 5 Dec 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Apparently over 40% of our actions are a result of habit. Scary when you think about speech. You start noticing how to improve when you start reading. highly recommended
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2.0 out of 5 stars Quality Issues 1 Dec 2013
By Dave
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A few pages into this book - which promised hints and tips on how to write better English - I noticed a subtitle spelt 'Grammer'. This must have been an omen of things to come, as some of the examples given for correct usage were underlined and the rest were left to interpretation. I didn't even manage to read a quarter of this book as I felt the explanations of Grammar and the components of English were not described clearly.

I would have expected better quality from a Penguin guidebook, especially one for 7.99. Needless to say, I got a refund!
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