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on 6 November 2011
Writing skill is usually more the product of many hours of writing than a quickly acquired skill, more akin to learning music than to learning how to drive. Of course, to improve our writing we need to learn grammar, punctuation and structure, but only through practice can we learn how to apply these effectively. Although writing is a process of growth, every so often we need to look over the basics, and every book like this can help us to fine-tune our craft in the same way a musician might play some scales.

The 'Little red writing book', despite the unlikely title, offers good tuition from a good tutor. It addresses many of those structural issues that plague writers before quickly recapping all the necessary grammar, looking over those basic things we learned but now occasionally forget. The book presents a manageable set of principles, which are clearly explained before being tested through exercises, and then after this mini course, the book is presented in summarised form.

Another book which is very useful and 'minimalistic' is It Was the Best of Sentences, It Was the Worst of Sentences: A Writer's Guide to Crafting Killer Sentences, which, although it doesn't contain exercises, has some very interesting material. Also Sin and Syntax has a different approach, examining the effect values of various grammatical constructions. Reading these books will help, but practice is the only way to find your unique 'writer's voice'. All you writers - good luck on your journey!

As with other books like this, the grammatical information presented in this book is more of a recap for those who know than a course for beginners - I for one would find concepts such as nominalisation hard to grasp if this were my first encounter with the idea. If you've read quite a lot of this sort of material already, don't expect any principles that will transform your writing, but enjoy a fun course.
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on 9 September 2013
I'm a PhD student and bought this on the recommendation of a professor. Essentially the book is made up of chapters which each take a recommendation and elaborate on it with examples and quizzes. The presentation of the book is stunning and it's a pleasure to read; it's also a short book so it won't take long to get through it.

In terms of content, I didn't come away from the book feeling as though I had learned a lot. Maybe the advice is more suited to new writers who haven't attended writing courses or haven't already read books on how to improve writing. That said, it's a useful refresher of concepts that you may already be familiar with just need reminding of. I'll certainly revisit this book in a few months just to go through the guidelines and remind myself of them.
4 people found this helpful
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on 22 March 2016
Due to the speed of deliver, your service it has allowed me to get on with my strategy and plans for launch the business targeting people, particularly at universities, to gain wealth from their writing. Great book and I am looking forward to put it on the reading list, as part of the marketing and sales plans.
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on 29 October 2017
very good.
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on 12 August 2014
Okay wee book but a bit long winded at times (not really for the beginner, as I was).
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on 31 August 2015
Excellent book.
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on 17 August 2015
Great book, but just to warn you, this is only for essay/article/non-fiction writing.
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on 24 February 2015
Quite fine.
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on 27 December 2009
Great book for making sure your grammar is correct
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on 14 December 2015
Fast delivery, A1 quality
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