Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace

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9780321479358: Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace
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Engaging and direct, Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace is the guidebook for anyone who wants to write well.

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From the Back Cover:

Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, Ninth Edition
Joseph M. Williams

Why have thousands of college writers loved–and learned from–this book? Listen to what Joseph Williams has to say:


“The ninth edition of Style aims at answering the same questions I asked in the earlier ones:

  • What is it in a sentence that makes readers judge it as they do?
  • How do we diagnose our own prose to anticipate their judgments?
  • How do we revise a sentence so that readers will think better of it?
The standard advice about writing ignores those questions. It is mostly truisms like Make a plan, Don’t use the passive, Think of your audience–advice that most of us ignore as we wrestle ideas out onto the page. When I drafted this paragraph, I wasn’t thinking about you; I was struggling to get my own ideas straight. I did know that I would come back to these sentences again and again, and that it would be only then–as I revised–that I could think about you and discover the plan that fit my draft. I also knew that as I did so, there were some principles I could rely on. This book explains them.”


Now even better, Style, Ninth Edition, includes more on:

  • How gifted writers manipulate the language of argument and thereby our responses to its logic and substance, and the ethical implications of that manipulation
  • How to work quotations into the flow of a sentence gracefully
  • Plagiarism–why readers suspect it, and how writers can avoid the mistaken perception of it.

Also new to this edition are “Quick Tips,” short bits of practical advice about how to deal with some common problems.

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