3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, this should be required reading for all writers, not just academics.,
This review is from: Stylish Academic Writing (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is a textbook on how to write. But what an entertaining textbook! And it is not just for Academics; the rest of us can also benefit. Yes, it has many wordy examples of what is bad, and others of what is good, but knitting it all together is Helen Sword's light and engaging narrative.
We might skip the less interesting examples, and we don't often need to follow any of the copious references neatly linked from the text, and the Things To Try are analogous to the 'exercises' we used to find at the end of each chapter in the Maths book, except, delightfully, many of these TTT are interesting and fun.
Her opening paragraph in Chapter One mentions my heroes Strunk and White and immediately I warmed to her. Reading on, so many times in the book she picks up on things I have also fought against when preparing technical documents; she is always hammering her points about simplicity, use of good English, avoiding convoluted hanging clauses, and cutting out jargon. She reinforces these themes with surprisingly detailed and rigorous analysis and relevant examples.
This is the first time I have actually enjoyed reading something I should class as a textbook. In several places I felt myself cheering her on. I have been working on trying to improve my writing style for several years, and had dribbled to a halt, but this gives me new ground to cover and with any luck it might take me on to a another level. To my surprise, I think I might have just become a fan!
Thank you Vine for giving me the opportunity to benefit from reading this.