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The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing Mass Market Paperback – 1 Jul 2000

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc; Reissue edition (1 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425176401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425176405
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 531,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Thomas Kane was formerly Professor of English at the University of Connecticut at Waterbury, where he taught writing for over twenty-five years. He co-edited The Short Story and the Reader and Writing Prose, Sixth Edition, both with Leonard J. Peters, and wrote The Oxford Guide to Writing.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
A clear little book, paperback sized, that contains much more meat than I expected from the size and format.

The prose used is quickly understood, flows well and progresses in a logical fashion. It's not a basic book, yet doesn't make the difficult, difficult at all.

Covering punctuation, sentence structure and style, grammer and all the other basics; it also goes onto paragraphs, essays and other forms of writing. Each chapter is self contained enabling a dip at need approach to be used.

I would say that this is a top starting point for anyone who is learning to write. The only other book that fits into the same space, in terms of ease and coverage is Roy Peter Clark's Writing Tools. I have both, I like both-a lot.

If you are learning for the purposes of academic writing, then I would lean towards this one slightly more at first.

You'll read through it in about 3 hours, if you were of a mind to do so.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 22 reviews
43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oxford lays a solid foundation for writing with style 27 Nov. 2003
By Michael Meanwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Whatever your experience or expertise as a writer, you can always benefit from new techniques for fleshing out ideas, developing technique or revising work, not to mention brushing up on the rules of punctuation, grammar and style.
All of this and more is covered in tremendous detail in The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing.
Author Thomas Kane, who also penned other guides for Oxford, explains the premise for this guide:
"Obviously, there are limits: one cannot learn to write like Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. You can't become a genius by reading a book.
"But you don't have to be a genius to write clear, effective English. You just have to understand what writing involves and to know how to handle words and sentences and paragraphs. That you can learn. If you do, you can communicate what you want to communicate in words other people can understand. This book will help by showing you what good writers do."
The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing is divided into several parts which address a variety of issues. These include:
* The Writing Process
* The Essay
* The Expository Paragraph
* The Sentence
* Diction
* Description And Narration
* Punctuation
Many shy away from writing guides, such as this. They believe it's hard work to read and even harder work to apply. Not so with The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing. It is written in an authoritative but disarming manner, scattered with poignant quotes from some of the masters of the craft, which make it accessible to scribes of all levels.
It explains in simple layperson's terms the processes and mechanics of writing. The chapters also feature practical exercises for workshopping ~ an excellent way to understand and apply what you've just read.
I particularly liked the `Drafts and Revisions' chapter, which offered some solid techniques and advice on refining work. Also the examples of style and technique from literary greats, such as Mark Twain, H.L. Mencken, E.B. White and Annie Dillard.
Another excellent writers' guide from Oxford. This is an essential reference for new and veteran wordsmiths. Newcomers will gain comprehensive instruction in the art of writing, including techniques for encouraging creativity, organizing thoughts and clear writing. As for experienced scribes, this guide will remind you what you've forgotten and, most importantly, it will help you add that `something missing' to your writing.
-- Michael Meanwell, author of the critically-acclaimed 'The Enterprising Writer' and 'Writers on Writing'. For more book reviews and prescriptive articles for writers, visit [...]
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eye-opening pleasure to read 3 July 2013
By L. Lodovi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Worse than editing books and articles with grammatical errors? Editing text that is flat-out boring and stylistically snooze-worthy. Thomas Kane, the author of this excellent resource, doesn't give short shrift to grammar and punctuation, but it is his keen sense of what writers need to conceptualize their pieces and make prose sing that makes this book such a rich, valuable tool. Yes, some have an innate talent for writing, but this wonderful book shows that there are technical skills (and a lot of hard work) that can elevate a piece of writing from the mundane to the extraordinary. The devil is in the details, and Kane's book is full of very useful ones. This is a must-read for anyone who writes or edits for a living, or aspires to it.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For advanced writers 17 April 2011
By M. Usic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Talks about sophisticated writing in simple, easy-to-understand terms. Kane uses examples from the complex writing of authors and basically breaks the writing down for you so you understand diction, concision, clarity, simplicity and so on.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very basic- probably good for high school 31 Mar. 2011
By YJourney - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm taking copyediting courses through University of California, San Diego online and this book was a required text. Its real purpose is to help you prepare an essay. I would have liked to have it back in high school, but it is fairly basic for more advanced writers and barely useful for editors.
I know I gave it three stars, but I do want to stress that I would have found this very helpful for high school papers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Part IV THE SENTENCE particularly helpful 3 May 2015
By Jerome Farnsworth - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While writing my first and only book, I realized my writing skills were totally inadequate and the book was going nowhere. At the Cambridge Center for Adult Education I took an elementary writing course using "The Oxford Guide to Writing" by Thomas S. Kane as a text. This course covered only the more basic portions of the text.and my writing did not improve. A subsequent 4 hour course at the center covered the topic of how to write a sentence not using the Oxford Guide for Writers seemed to be a direction offering promise. Frustration! I needed much more material on how to write a sentence; but where to find it? By chance I searched through "The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing" and found part IV - The Sentence pages 151 to 234. This section covers various sentence styles with illustrations by famous authors. I had to read this section 3 to 4 times in order to digest it. With further writing and re-editing, my book was completed to my satisfaction. In the aftermath, when reading other books particularly well written sentences pop out for me.
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