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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential resource for making every word count
I am midway through an Open University degree course and have found 'Line by Line' to be an absolutely indespensible resource. Whenever an academic essay is required I find remaining within strict word limits to be one of the most taxing requirements. Using the simple, but effective, techniques in the book I am able to literally cut an essay word length in half without...
Published on 25 Sept. 2007 by C. Holden

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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but a bit old-fashioned
I was lured into buying this book by the five-start reviews. It is thorough. It does the job. But I have read better.

Being 'old-fashioned' is not necessarily bad, but the parsing and anatomizing of each sentance feels laboured. I have a small Edwardian guide to grammar, sadly long out of print, that is beautifully clear without ever saying 'appositive',...
Published on 27 Jun. 2007 by Richard A. Kirk


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5.0 out of 5 stars Quite fine., 24 Feb. 2015
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This review is from: Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing (Paperback)
Quite fine.
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38 of 78 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A personal copy editor, 1 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing (Paperback)
This book attracted me the second I saw it. I found it to be very helpful, especially the main points the author makes (about wordy sentences, and bad writing). It is very helpful in seeing your own mistakes, for those of us without a copy editor of our own.
There are a few imperfections I would like to mention though. The author began to bore me after repeated examples after examples after the 1st chapter. Though the book itself is an example of good writing, the author uses the word "But" to start of sentences.
Another example of books being just a guide and not a codification of absolute rules, is the author's condemnation of pronoun use in one particular sentence. What the author does not know is the tradition and fact that actors are supposed to refer to their characters AS IF the actor was referring to himself (the author, unaware of common knowledge, criticises one actress for doing this.)
The grammar usage reference at the end of the book is very helpful. It is proper to note one failing, the unnecessary entries which normal people should be aware of. For example, she writes that the proper use of the word "Dilemma" involves a choice of "two assumptions" to a difficult problem. She also takes the time to say that the words "verbal" and "oral" are different (one is words, one refers to the spoken word). My response is: who does not know these obvious facts, and why are they reading an intellectual book on writing? It is rather superfluous.
But I give this 5 stars because it succeeds in its goal, small questions of perfection aside.
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Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing
Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing by Claire Kehrwald Cook (Paperback - 26 Dec. 2006)
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