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    $43.67 $34.99
    1. The Gregg Reference Manual : A
    $89.00 $60.60
    2. Technical Communication (9th Edition)
    $15.30 list($18.00)
    3. Persuasive Online Copywriting:
    $10.36 $6.68 list($12.95)
    4. Bird by Bird : Some Instructions
    $80.95 $54.00
    5. Technical Communication
    $12.56 $10.49 list($17.95)
    6. AP Stylebook
    $34.65 $34.49 list($55.00)
    7. The Chicago Manual of Style
    $26.95 $20.59
    8. Concise Rules Of Apa Style (Concise
    $7.95 $4.89
    9. The Elements of Style, Fourth
    $10.50 $4.90 list($14.00)
    10. On Writing Well, 25th Anniversary
    $33.95 $24.92
    11. Publication Manual of the American
    $23.10 $19.99 list($35.00)
    12. Story: Substance, Structure, Style
    $70.00 $31.70
    13. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to
    $9.00 $7.29 list($12.00)
    14. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
    $11.55 $11.10 list($16.99)
    15. Comedy Writing Secrets
    $37.00 list($47.60)
    16. A Writer's Reference, Fifth Edition
    $10.50 $9.18 list($17.50)
    17. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The
    $25.75 $19.99 list($26.95)
    18. Rules for Writers
    $67.00 $41.00
    19. An Introduction to Literature,
    $91.33 $82.00
    20. Understanding English Grammar

    1. The Gregg Reference Manual : A Manual of Style, Grammar, Usage, and Formatting (Gregg Reference Manual)
    by William A. Sabin
    list price: $43.67
    our price: $43.67
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0072936533
    Catlog: Book (2004-06-14)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill/Irwin
    Sales Rank: 6009
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Updated to include new communication technology and its unique issues

    For more than 50 years, The Gregg Reference Manual has been recognized as the best style manual for business professionals and students. The basic rules that apply to the most frequent problems are covered as thoroughly as the fine points of the problems that occur less often. The colorful examples and illustrations offer easy-to-follow models to help resolve the difficulties encountered in everyday communications from e-mail messages to formal reports. New features include:

    • Up-to-date coverage on dealing with online source material and precautions to observe when citing electronic material
    • New searchable index: the website accompanying the book allows the reader immediate access to definitions and information on specific topics
    • Updated e-mail rules and expanded plagiarism coverage to meet the needs of changing technology
    ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best guide I've ever seen.
    The Gregg Reference Manual has impressed me. I have never seen such a comprehensive manual on the english language and its usage today. I have only owned it for a couple of days, but I know that it will help me immensely as I move into college (even if it was meant for business men).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best!
    The Gregg Reference Manual is the single most useful grammar, usage, and style reference available for business professionals. I have been using it for years as my primary reference tool. The manual is very comprehensive, and the well-organized index makes things easy to find. It is updated frequently to incorporate current technology, which makes it invaluable in today's continually changing environment. The 10th edition was just released, so it is the most up-to-date book of its type around. ... Read more

    2. Technical Communication (9th Edition)
    by John M. Lannon
    list price: $89.00
    our price: $89.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0321089790
    Catlog: Book (2002-04-08)
    Publisher: Longman
    Sales Rank: 61483
    Average Customer Review: 1.86 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (7)

    3-0 out of 5 stars This book is better than what some reviewers write!

    This book is written well and is a useful tool to use when writing everything from a resume and cover letter to a complete proposal. It also give instructions on how to make a web page and scripting in html. Although I am sure that this material is very similiar to that of the previous editions, I would highly recommend this book to anyone who would like to write better.

    I wish that I had not read the previous bad reviews and ordered this book in hardcover instead of a used softcover.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Written by an expert in the marketing of textbooks!
    John Lannon was a successful author of a college writing and composition textbook. He then created various spinoffs so that his publisher could cover more markets: business writing, technical writing, and so on (for both college and high school).

    So he's really not a current specialist in technical writing, and he's not employed as a technical writer. He's just an English instructor who has been using essentially the same basic materials in all his books for decades.

    This text is a perfect example. It has very little to do with today's field of technical communications. There are many other textbooks that have more specific and up-to-date examples and guidelines for contemporary technical writers. Any book by Hackos, for example, runs circles around this one.

    In any case, he and his publisher don't need your single-copy sale. They sell thousands of these books for coursewide use at many schools across the country for use in very elementary courses. They don't care about individual users.

    So save your money and buy something else!

    1-0 out of 5 stars What's new in this 9th Edtion?
    The answer is nothing. This 9th edition is practically the same as 8th. This author must be the greediest man I've ever seen. Over half of the colleges in US use this book for technical writing, and he's still charging people $80 for it. Hasn't he made enough money with the 1st edition already?

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good Reference Text, But Poor Reading Material
    This text book is not reader friendly. It is tedious and boring. However, it is a good reference manual. Hard to justify the price you pay for it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Clear-Concise-Simple
    The key to technical writing is best described as clear-concise-simple. The most accurate review of this book is to simply add NOT to each of these goals.It is NOT Clear - NOT Concise - Not Simple. It does boast one quality. It is vastly overpriced.
    The writers style is easy to describe. It is very much like those bookshelf size computer manuals that we have all come to know and "love" so well! ... Read more

    3. Persuasive Online Copywriting: How to Take Your Words to the Bank
    by Bryan Eisenberg, Jeffrey Eisenberg, Lisa T. Davis
    list price: $18.00
    our price: $15.30
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0971476993
    Catlog: Book (2002-09-15)
    Publisher: Wizard Academy Press
    Sales Rank: 22487
    Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Writing for the web.Web word wizardry.Web writing that works.What does that mean?Your online copy must persuade - it’s integral to getting your visitors or readers to register, subscribe, qualify as leads, and yes, even buy from you.It’s writing that must earn its keep.And to effectively manage the quality of your online writing, you need to understand what works, why it works and how to make it work better for you. Whether you are the marketer responsible for the bottom line or the writer creating the copy,Persuasive Online Copywriting provides the tools you need to get results. ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Draw in your customers
    Are you like me in buying every self-help or non-fiction book to bring in more business? One problem. When do we have the time to read them? This book simply won't let that happen with its short chapters, personable style, and valuable information on how to keep visitors clicking until they make the buy.

    This book is the how. How to take all the theories and whys discussed by other authors and make it happen. I have trouble with theories because they don't help me visualize the application of such theories. This book stays away from whys and shows you how.

    When I started reading the book, several big projects got thrown my way leading to late night reading being replaced by late night working. Every now and then, I took a break and breezed through this book reading many pages in a brief time while gaining new knowledge and a refresher in creative writing as it applies to online copy.

    Non-fiction is my thing when it comes to writing. Over time, I have forgotten creative techniques for adding spice to copy. The authors jolted memories of high school English classes where we learned about the different poetic styles (iambic pentameter, alliteration, meter, etc) and to avoid using passive verbs. Not only that, but also they cover how to write for different personalities.

    Already getting high traffic to your site? That means you know how to draw attention and interest. But, how are you doing in building desire so that they take action? Hmm... could that be the challenge? The authors drive toward long-term results by engaging your visitors and leading the way for them to get what they need and be satisfied with it.

    I'm familiar with a few techniques discussed in the book, but many may not be. It depends on what you do with regard to the Web site. I understand making a Web site usable and getting visitors to the site. My Web site's weakness is converting visitors into customers. Marketing pros may succeed with creating a desire, but have trouble with visitors taking action. The authors cover all the areas needed to persuade via the Internet from "notice me!" to "be happy with me!"

    Are you thinking, "More technology! We need more technology to make this work?" We've taken technology for granted, but all it can do is what human programmers program it to do. Technology doesn't know human nature. It doesn't know how to feel or need something. People do and can convey what they know with words. Words make the sale. Technology ensures the words get their say (by quickly loading the Web page and functioning the way it should) and to push the sale through the back-end process (taking the order, managing inventory, etc.). This is where conversion principles apply. The authors share simple processes for improving conversion rates.

    A splash page is the "introduction" page to a Web site. It's flashy, colorful, and cool. But it's a waste of time. It gets in the way of the core material. Customers don't care how good your designers are, they care about what you can give them and that comes through words and good online copy. It's time for the online world to get what print mastered many years ago. The authors' witty writing style makes the book enjoyable to read without sacrificing wisdom. They practice what they preach and it's no wonder that, the site behind Future Now, Inc. is a success.

    Time has come to let go of what's in it for the company and think of what's in it for the customer. In time, you shall reap the rewards at the bank.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If You Read only one book on the Internet, make it this one.
    Internet Marketing is here to stay and it's getting better every day. And the authors of this book are a big part of the reason why.

    1998-2000: Money fell like rain from heaven and the streets were flooded with stories of teenage millionaires. These halcyon days were fueled by a mentality that "if you build it, they will come." Investors drunkenly bought into the Internet's promise of a "new economy" and billions of dollars were pumped into spec-tech and dotcoms, never to be seen again. But when the investors saw that the 'net's realities didn't quite match up to the glowing promises, investment capital dried up faster than alcohol on a summer sidewalk.

    There were fundamental problems with Internet marketing that could not be overcome with mere advances in technology. What Internet marketing needed was someone who truly understood the fundamentals of human persuasion and could apply them to the Internet."

    Today it is my extraordinary pleasure to announce that those people have been found.

    Jeff and Bryan Eisenberg were talking 'conversion' back when 'eyeballs' were the thing and conversion wasn't even in the lexicon. Their work was greatly accelerated when they added Lisa Davis to the team.

    Bryan, Jeffrey and Lisa graduated with honors from Wizard Academy and have since gone on to accomplish a number of internet marketing miracles. Consequently, they were chosen to become adjunct faculty at Wizard Academy, where they now teach a curriculum that has punched Internet ROI through the ceiling for every company that has sent a delegate. This book, for a [low price], contains an extremely important portion of what they teach.

    Prepare to be amazed.

    Roy H. Williams
    NY Times bestselling author of
    Secret Formulas of The Wizard of Ads

    2-0 out of 5 stars No Background In Copywriting? Find Another Book.
    I bought this book to try and gain more of an understanding on copywriting for the net. My honest opinion is that unless you have a background in professional writing or copywriting, this book won't be much of a help. The book makes references to things like Fraking, Poetic Meter, etc and then gives you a very short paragraph description on what they mean that doesn't give you an understanding of the term, but rather a definition. I was for lack of a better term, lost by the time I was 60 pages in.

    Maybe if you do have a background in copywriting, this book will be quite useful in helping you understand how to adapt regular copywriting to the web. But, if not, you won't get much of an "education" but rather a "how to adapt" approach that isn't very useful to someone who hasn't had a some form of formal education on the topic. I did give this book two stars because there was a "nugget" here or there that anyone could have gleaned, but overall I was disappointed by the book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The GROK knows all
    This was my third of three copywriting books I read. While actually being the smallest, this book probably had the most content. The beautiful thing is that each topic is in its own small 2-3 page chapter which is very convincing, logical, and easily accesable for further usage.

    One of the better internet books on the market.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Will Open (and Blow) Your Mind - A Must Read
    This gem of a book offers the most comprehensive (and immediately useable) information on "how to make your website profitable" in the fewest amount of pages that I have yet seen.

    As a bonus, it is priced a fraction of most of the available information on this subject. I've paid hundreds of dollars for information that was not nearly as useable as this. (OK I admit I'm a marketing information junkie)

    I have purchased dozens of products (printed and ebooks) within the last year alone on this subject. Most of the others talk about search engine tricks, pop-ups, hard sell copy, and basically manipulating your site visitor into doing what you want.

    Manipulation may work a little in the short run, but is self defeating in the long run.

    This book is much smarter than that. It is in a whole different league.

    This book teaches what is really important to long term profits. That is, engaging your visitors and making sure your site is offering them exactly what THEY want.

    It shows you how to write extremely effective copy. It also tells you how to discover exactly what your customers are asking you to provide them by watching your stats and web logs.

    The basic premise of this book is that without a high conversion ratio, there is no point in buying more traffic. It is much more cost effective to use the techniques contained in this book to increase your conversions than to chase traffic. That comes later. They make a valid point that most folks are doing this backwards.

    This book is about way more than just copywriting, by the way. It does an excellent job of enlightening you to many useability factors that may be hurting your sales.

    I can't imagine anyone who manages a website and uses even a small percentage of the wisdom contained within not getting a hundred times their investment back.

    In conclusion, just buy it and read it. You can not go wrong with this book. ... Read more

    4. Bird by Bird : Some Instructions on Writing and Life
    list price: $12.95
    our price: $10.36
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0385480016
    Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
    Publisher: Anchor
    Sales Rank: 1258
    Average Customer Review: 4.45 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Think you've got a book inside of you? Anne Lamott isn't afraid to help you let it out. She'll help you find your passion and your voice, beginning from the first really crummy draft to the peculiar letdown of publication. Readers will be reminded of the energizing books of writer Natalie Goldberg and will be seduced by Lamott's witty take on the reality of a writer's life, which has little to do with literary parties and a lot to do with jealousy, writer's block and going for broke with each paragraph.Marvelously wise and best of all, great reading. ... Read more

    Reviews (199)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Review Bird by Bird
    In the world of writing there are many different books that one can check out to find guidance and inspiration. This book explains how to write in a down to earth way. Writing is like walking, taking one step at a time until you end up where you want to be. Oferring everything from she has ever learned about writing Anne Lamott presents it in a way that is humorous, inspirational and can help any writer who is having trouble. After you finish reading this book you will be motivated to want to write for hours upon hours.

    The first part of the book is a basic overview of how to write a work of literature. The number one rule of writing is to tell the truth. The reader does not want to read a story from an unrealiable source. After the writer swears to write the truth Lamott says to start from the very beginning of your life. Write down everything: where you went to school? who your friends and teachers were? What clothes you wore? things like that. Then expand the details, write the fine points and then just keep going. Writing is observing what is around you and putting that on paper. To get into the mood for writing, make it a habit, sit down at the same time, and just write. The only way to get better at something is to practice, so practice writing. This process is the same for everyone.

    Once you start the writing, the characters need to come into play. What are the different personalities of these people? Are they good with morals? Or are they bad to the bone? Now ask yourself different uestions and think of an answer that the character might respond with. Get to know your characters personally and let there be something at stake or else the story will be very boring. One way to familiarize yourself with the characters is to base them on people you know.

    As the plot thickens, Lamott says that the characters interacting make the plot. Two characters who learn about each other day by day are bound to have something happen to them at some point.

    After the characters are in place, the set needs to be accounted for. This accounting is where the author gets to be the director and set everything into place. What does the room or surroundings look like? What time is it? What does the area smell like? These and many other questions need answere to make the plot work.

    Bird by Bird also has many examples as to why to write in the first place. You can give your writing as a gift. Write someone a story and they will chereish it forever. Write for the communitiy, in a paper. Tell the populaceyour view of an event happening in the town. The best reason to write, is to have it published. To have your words immortalized in a book is one of life's ultimate moments. Although Lamott says that it is not as big as, one would make it. Once you have a published book, you think that it could have been better written she argues.

    Lamott has a lot of advice to give to writers who feel stuck in their writing. Her advise can be put to good use. The first advise is to carry index cards, when a good idea pops into your head, just whip out an index card and jot down your idea. Later gather your index cards while writing and put your good ideas to use. Lamott says that a telephone is a good resource to use on writing. When you need a second opinion about something or need some expert advice just use a telephone to instantly contact someone. Another good piece of advice is to shut up that voice that says that your work is worthless, that it is not perfect, and that it does not sound good. Silence that voice in order to achieve perfection. Probably the most important advice is to keep writing. Practice makes perfect.

    This book has taught me a lot about writing. I thorougly enjoyed the book. Lamott explains how to write well in a simple, humorous, way that makes writing enjoyable. I highly recomend Bird by Bird. Even though I will not pursue a career in writing, I can not wait to start my own story just to be writing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Ever Meet Someone As Crazy As Yourself?

    Reading Anne Lamott is like sitting down with a close friend who shares all of your idiosyncracies and insanities, as well as your warped sense of humor. Bird by Bird gives Lamott's view of the writing life and confronts all of the little details and major crises faced by anyone who's ever wanted to write. Filled with warm and witty anecdotes from her own writing career and from the classes she teaches, Lamott takes you gently by the hand and then proceeds to push, pull, or drag you to the pencil or the keyboard because you suddenly feel that you have to write something, right now! This is a book to keep next to the bed or the computer, or wherever else you're likely to be when you need a nudge to keep going and a major dose of inspiration. Read this book with a highlighter grasped tightly in your sweaty palm, because you're going to want to come back to certain lines over and over again. Highly recommended.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Streaker's Delight
    Anne Lamott is always a brave and honest writer, but in "Bird by Bird" she streaks through your psyche, leaving her self evaluations and confessions burned into your mind like the image of the naked stranger you walked in on by accident in the dressing room. You get the feeling you should look away, but you can't help taking a peek. Often funny, sometimes uncomfortable, but always, to the last page, authentic. If you're a writer, I bet you'll read it more than once.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Bird by Bird
    This is an excellent book about the writing life and secrets of successful writing. I like especially the humor in it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Boring Beginner's Stuff
    I'm trying to return this book right's not bad, and certainly has its audience, but I'm not it. It's your basic beginner's guide to creative writing, unique for its alternately folksy and sassy tone. A certain kind of beginner will find it encouraging -- typically young and female, I suspect. It's like having your own encouraging single mum! But for anyone who's got past their own precious egos (enough to progress beyond hand-holding and back-patting, anyway) and has the minimum intellectual insight required of a would-be writer of "literary fiction" (as opposed to "genre fiction"), this book's likely to be only amusing at best. I myself cannot recommend it as being helpful to anyone writing at an advanced, pre-publication level, for which I maintain that John Gardner's "Art of Fiction" and "On Becoming A Novelist" remain the most useful of all such books, intellectually rigorous (even if it sounds elitist here and there) and spiritually uplifting for being more "formal" and "classically-minded." As it stands, "Bird by Bird" is a good enough preamble for its implicitly intended market of young female beginning writers (and sensitive "Young Werthers," for that matter). As a nice counter-weight to Gardner, I'd recommend "Self-Editing for Fiction Writers." ... Read more

    5. Technical Communication
    by Mike Markel
    list price: $80.95
    our price: $80.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312403380
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-14)
    Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
    Sales Rank: 15255
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Owner's review
    This book is in awesome shape, I used it for an online course, so i have never carried in a book bag. No markings, and very very minimal corners bent.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and real world scenarios
    I teach technical writing at a community college and frequently switched textbooks until I discovered Mike Markel's. It is well organized, gives 8 measures of excellence in technical writing that students quickly grasp, has very up-to-date scenarios that prompt critical reading and writing and the online quizzes and resources are the frosting on the cake. This book is a great tool for educators, students and absolutely anyone who wishes to write in a professional manner.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Well written, over priced common sense.
    The information in the book as well as the scenarios presented are well put. The writing is adequate for the subject. Overall, though, I feel the cost of the book exceeded the value. Much of the information in the book is common sense.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Technical Communication--Mike Markel
    I am using this for my course in technical writing at the University level. It gives a very thorough look at tech writing, and its exercises help emphasize ethics, collaboration, and working with the Web. All of these are important in the world of business that many students will be entering. Although I could not possibly cover the entire text in one semester, it is carefully laid out so that it is easy to emphasize the things that work best for your course. ... Read more

    6. AP Stylebook
    by Associated Press
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $12.56
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0465004881
    Catlog: Book (2004-07-01)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 3961
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Fully revised and updated, the essential handbook for all writers, editors, students, and public relations specialists.

    More people write for the Associated Press than for any newspaper in the world, and writers have bought more copies of The AP Stylebook than of any other journalism reference. With this essential guide in hand, any writer can learn to communicate with the clarity and professionalism for which the Associated Press is famous. Fully revised and updated, this edition contains over 5,000 A to Z entries--including more than 50 new ones--laying out the AP's rules on grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviation, and word and numeral usage. Comprehensive and easy to use, The AP Stylebook provides the facts and references necessary to write accurately about the world today: correct names of countries and organizations, Internet language and search techniques, language to avoid, common trademarks, and the unique guidelines for business and sports reporting. The final word on media law, The AP Stylebook also includes an invaluable section dedicated to crucial advice on how writers can guard against libel and copyright infringement. The veritable "journalist's bible," this is the one reference that working writers cannot afford to be without.

    With more than 50 new entries plus updates of more than 100 others, The AP Stylebook includes such features as:
    * An A to Z listing of guides to capitalization, abbreviation, spelling, numerals, and usage
    * Internet guidelines
    * Sports guidelines and style
    * Business guidelines and style
    * A guide to punctuation
    * Supreme Court decisions regarding libel law
    * Summary of First Amendment rules
    * The right of privacy
    * Copyright guidelines
    * Proofreaders' marks
    ... Read more

    Reviews (45)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is an invaluable resource for all writers.

    While the media run rampant with flimsy leads and stories based solely on hearsay, it's good to know that at least their grammar stays in check, thanks to the hard and fast rules set forth in the Associated Press Stylebook and Libel Manual.

    Providing direct distinctions between similar words, the correct spelling of commonly-misspelled words, and the politically-correct use of dangerous words, the AP stylebook delineates specific style rules for virtually every journalistic possibility. Set up in a dictionary-style format, the manual's general stylebook lists everything from the perils of "a" versus "an" to the preferred usage of ZIP codes.

    Following the stylebook are the more specific sections dealing with sports and business style, both also set up with A to Z listings, including usage and spelling. Although sports writing info may be confined to the needs of the sportswriter, the business section is helpful for those who take interest in corporate designations and definitions of stock market terms.

    Finally, just before the manual switches from the absoluteness of style to the murky legal waters of the libel section, comes, in my opinion, the pièce de résistance-A Guide To Punctuation-music to the ears of syntax-psychos and grammar-Nazis, alike.

    Starting with words of wisdom from what the AP refers to as "a bible of writers," "The Elements of Style," this portion is eleven pages of invaluable knowledge for any writer, regardless of profession, and is arranged so succintly that even children can access its information for their own use.

    Although I have thus far had little use for the information about libel in this book, it is primarily what its introduction claims-not a libel text, but merely a useful guide which "explains the fundamental principles in libel for working writers and editors." It also contains some key parts of the Freedom of Information Act which should be read by everyone to fully know our rights regarding the access to federal information, during what has now become the Age of the X-file.

    All-in-all, the AP Stylebook and Libel Manual should be a welcome edition to any writer's reference library.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not just for journalists
    This book is an indispensible resource for writers, students, editors, journalists, businesspeople -- anybody who needs to write proposals, papers, stories, you name it. Clearly organized in dictionary form, this book contains the answers to those key and nagging questions. Is the "m" in "English muffin" supposed to be capitalized? When do you hyphenate "right-wing"? How exactly do you properly use "lay and lie"? What's the appropriate abbreviation for an army corporal? And does a speaker stand behind or on a podium? Finally figure out which preposition is precisely correct.

    In addition to common style questions like the ones above, the stylebook contains a wealth of common information. What is a mach number? How does one calculate heat indexes and wind chill factors? And other pieces of commonly needed information are interspersed throughout the text.

    This edition also includes specific guides for business and sports terminology, as well as an Internet guide.

    While less useful to those not members of the media, this text also includes a briefing on media law. Some sections, such as the right to individual privacy, might appeal to the general public.

    The AP Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law is an essential addition to any reference collection.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Badly In Need of an update...
    I agree with most reviewers, that this is a usefull book, but just because it serves a purpose, doesn't mean one should think uncriticaly of it. The most important thing is that this is a resource for both journalists and students, and because it is so essential, it is imparative that we address some problems with this book: Namely that the world has changed and the AP Stylebook has not kept up.

    By nature, this book is essential. It fills a very real need. It supplies an essential and uniform standard for the composition of news writting. For this function, the book deserves five stars, however because this function is so essential, it requiers an up to date standard, and untill this book comes up to pace with the modern times, I will withold three of those stars.

    When I say it is not up to date, a great example of what I mean comes with the current frequency of the need to use Arabic names. The book provides no clear standard for this. The Arabic name Al Queda, for instance, has become quite common place, but news organizations have struggled with how exactly to quote this name. Most of the trouble centers around the singular nomonative case article ('al') which of course translates as 'the.' Thus, Al Queda has also been cited as The Queda, or even just Queda. If the whole invaluable point of the book is standardize the language used in reporting, then it needs to address the newest issues in the news and the vocabulary that has rocketed into our headlines from out of nowhere in the last few years.

    Also, as bad as what is left out may be, it is not nearly as bad as what is left in. For instance, the book suggest that the proper way to refer to Mainland China is "Red China." Even worse, the book explains that the uncapitalized term 'god' is used to refer to *false* gods, whereas the capitalized term 'God' is used to refer to the *one true god.* For me this is particularly offensive, and on the whole, these are just a couple of the examples of the sort of antiquated and obnoxious McCarthy-era media manipulations that for some reason still haunt us through the AP Style Manual.

    In the end, these problems are all easy to fix, and this book comes out in new editions all the time. I believe it performs an essential function, of standardizing the terms used by the media, which should reduce biased manipulation of language (as opposed to encouraging them, as in the examples I have given). I worked journalism in College, and I even won a few awards. I credit much of this to the ideas and applications behind the AP Style manual. Not only does it do a great service to journalism and reporting, but also, it teaches an elegant and simple way of writting, succinctly and to the point without sacraficing depth and sophistication.

    I was once told by a gifted Classicist, after reading both Herodotus and Thucidides, that although it would be easy to lapse into writting like Herodotus, one really should strive to write like Thucidides. The best way I can explain Thucidides' style in modern terms is to equate that aspiration with reading and observing the concepts in the Associate Press Stylebook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Every govt communicator should have the AP Stylebook and
    also Media Relations Handbook for Agencies, Associations, Nonprofits and Congress. The Handbook is written by Brad Fitch, who worked in Washington PR for more than a decade, with a Foreword by Mike McCurry.

    What others have said about Fitch's book (about which you can see more at ):

    "Great advice for beginners and experienced media hands. If you are a media relations professional--either beginner or seasoned veteran--this is the book for you. Brad Fitch, who spent many years fielding reporters' tough questions on Capitol Hill, has written a timely, practical guide to handling media relations that is filled with solid professional advice. What goes into a press release? How do you develop a strategic message? You've got a digital camera and a fax machine, but what else does your office need to effectively handle the media? Before you start talking to a reporter, do you know the difference between 'on the record,' 'off the record,' and 'background'? When there's an immediate crisis in your organization, what are the eight mistakes that you absolutely must avoid? How do you handle your paranoid boss when he or she has to confront the press? You'll find the answers to these and many other everyday problems in this book. Fitch also gives valuable advice on how to set up an effective website and how to use e-mail for optimum communications. Excellent book for professionals who work in federal or state agencies, trade associations, non-profits, state legislatures or Congress. It's the only handbook you'll ever need."
    Dennis W. Johnson, college professor and former Capitol Hill senior staffer

    "Provides valuable advice for those who flack for a living."
    Roll Call

    "A superb blend of theory and practice, written by someone who uses words like Gallup uses polls."
    Steve O'Keefe, author "Complete Guide to Internet Publicity" and Adjunct Faculty, Tulane University College

    "Uncertain how to interest the press in your pressing issue? Having difficulty preparing your media-unfriendly boss for a tough interview? Worried about the next communications crisis and how to handle it? Brad Fitch answers those questions and many more in this crisp, clear and completely useful book."
    Tucker Carlson, Co-Host CNN Crossfire, author

    "A seminar from TheCapitol.Net is one of the best ways to learn from the experts about how Washington really works. Now all that insight and information has been packed into this invaluable volume. I suggest you read it, and become your own expert."
    Steven V. Roberts, syndicated columnist, TV and radio analyst, college professor

    "Brad Fitch has performed an admirable public service by giving public relations students and professionals alike an indispensable tool. His book provides a road map on both the practicalities and principles of PR, and he shows that honest PR is not an oxymoron. Now it's up to all of us in the media and spin industries to keep our end of the bargain."
    Ed Henry, Congressional Correspondent, CNN (formerly Senior Editor of Roll Call)

    "This volume is an invaluable road map to the mean streets of a city where information is power and power is everything. Brad Fitch has written a rich 'how-to' lesson for pros and for novices who must negotiate the competitive landscape of America's new media."
    Ann Compton, White House Correspondent, ABC News

    "Media Relations Handbook is to political campaigns what The Art of War is to military campaigns: an essential strategic reference that winners should never be without."
    James Carville, Co-Host CNN Crossfire, author

    Again, you can see more about Fitch's book at or search Amazon using the ISBN: 1587330032

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law
    A guide to usage, this is a manual of style for words and subjects commonly encountered in news writing, designed to help writers make correct choices and instruct users about media law. The bulk of the work is "The Stylebook," an alphabetical list of the Associated Press's rules on grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, abbreviations, and usage; for example, "Hispanic" is the "preferred term for those whose ethnic origin is in a Spanish-speaking country," and "Chicano" should be avoided as a synonym for Mexican American. The stylebook offers information on such thorny matters as military titles, titles of nobility, and metric and temperature conversions. Special sections include an Internet guide with terms for sports and business guidelines and style and a briefing on media law, explaining such things as libel law, fair reporting, the right of privacy, and media applications related to the First Amendment. The work's audience clearly includes journalists and anyone who writes for the news media, as well as students at all levels, particularly those interested in journalism. ... Read more

    7. The Chicago Manual of Style
    by University of Chicago Press Staff
    list price: $55.00
    our price: $34.65
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0226104036
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-01)
    Publisher: University of Chicago Press
    Sales Rank: 547
    Average Customer Review: 4.18 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    In the 1890s, a proofreader at the University of Chicago Press prepared a single sheet of typographic fundamentals intended as a guide for the University community. That sheet grew into a pamphlet, and the pamphlet grew into a book--the first edition of the Manual of Style, published in 1906. Now in its fifteenth edition, The Chicago Manual of Style--the essential reference for authors, editors, proofreaders, indexers, copywriters, designers, and publishers in any field--is more comprehensive and easier to use than ever before.

    Those who work with words know how dramatically publishing has changed in the past decade, with technology now informing and influencing every stage of the writing and publishing process. In creating the fifteenth edition of the Manual, Chicago's renowned editorial staff drew on direct experience of these changes, as well as on the recommendations of the Manual's first advisory board, composed of a distinguished group of scholars, authors, and professionals from a wide range of publishing and business environments.

    Every aspect of coverage has been examined and brought up to date--from publishing formats to editorial style and method, from documentation of electronic sources to book design and production, and everything in between. In addition to books, the Manual now also treats journals and electronic publications. All chapters are written for the electronic age, with advice on how to prepare and edit manuscripts online, handle copyright and permissions issues raised by technology, use new methods of preparing mathematical copy, and cite electronic and online sources.

    A new chapter covers American English grammar and usage, outlining the grammatical structure of English, showing how to put words and phrases together to achieve clarity, and identifying common errors. The two chapters on documentation have been reorganized and updated: the first now describes the two main systems preferred by Chicago, and the second discusses specific elements and subject matter, with examples of both systems. Coverage of design and manufacturing has been streamlined to reflect what writers and editors need to know about current procedures. And, to make it easier to search for information, each numbered paragraph throughout the Manual is now introduced by a descriptive heading.

    Clear, concise, and replete with commonsense advice, The Chicago Manual of Style, fifteenth edition, offers the wisdom of a hundred years of editorial practice while including a wealth of new topics and updated perspectives. For anyone who works with words, whether on a page or computer screen, this continues to be the one reference book you simply must have.

    What's new in the Fifteenth Edition:

    * Updated material throughout to reflect current style, technology, and professional practice

    * Scope expanded to include journals and electronic publications

    * Comprehensive new chapter on American English grammar and usage by Bryan A. Garner (author of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage)

    * Updated and rewritten chapter on preparing mathematical copy

    * Reorganized and updated chapters on documentation, including guidance on citing electronic sources

    * Streamlined coverage of current design and production processes, with a glossary of key terms

    * Descriptive headings on all numbered paragraphs for ease of reference

    * New diagrams of the editing and production processes for both books and journals, keyed to chapter discussions

    * New, expanded Web site with special tools and features for Manual users. Sign up at for information and special discounts on future electronic Manual of Style products.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th Edition
    Since 1906, the incomparable Chicago Manual has been the reference for writers, editors, copyeditors, publishers, and anyone else working with words. This historic new edition reflects the huge impact that computer technology has had on writing and publishing in recent decades. Novelties include a new chapter on American English grammar and usage by Bryan A. Garner (A Dictionary of Modern American Usage), significant updates of copyright and permissions information, a new typographic presentation of American Sign Language, and an "almost new" chapter on mathematical copy, especially useful for electronic notations. From elements to proofreading marks to bias-free language, the manual provides directions, preferences, and even suggestions to the publishing and writing professional. Chapter 16, for example, concentrates on the two documentation systems preferred by Chicago: the notes and bibliographic system and the author-date system. Chapter 17 concentrates on the style and items of bibliographic entries, notes, and parenthetical citations, while also providing information on interview, audiovisual, manuscript, and legal citations. In comparison, Kate Turabian's A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations is a useful resource for students, but it does not tackle publication and production issues. The Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, now in its fifth edition, also omits that information, while the MLA Style Manual and Guide to Scholarly Publishing, now in its second edition, is more directed to the author's needs. Meanwhile, Chicago encompasses a variety of fields and professions, making this significant revision an invaluable addition to all public, academic, and special libraries

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very fine resource
    The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) is without question my favorite style manual. The fact that this manual is one of the best of its kind does not seem to be in question for most people. What does seem to be in question is whether or not the CMOS is a fit for an individual's needs. What also seems to be in question is whether or not the 15th edition is an improvement from the 14th edition.

    In terms of fit, I would say that the CMOS is probably a good fit for advanced writers, editors, and publishers; however, most of these advanced professionals already know this. College students might be better served by a style manual specific to their discipline - for example, The Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook for English students, or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA) for psychology students. Beginning students might also be better served by a general handbook (such as The Little, Brown Handbook or The Holt Handbook). For office workers, administrative assistants, and secretaries, a better fit might be "The Gregg Reference Manual," which has an emphasis on business correspondence. In each of these cases; however, the CMOS would be a useful backup reference.

    In regard to the editions, my overall opinion is that the 15th edition is a significant improvement in content to the 14th, and well worth the purchase. The 13th edition was published in 1982, the 14th in 1993, and this 15th in 2003, so the CMOS is updated approximately every 10 years, which feels like a good revision pace to me. The content revisions are summarized on the back cover, and I'll list them at the end of this review.

    In addition to content, the layout of the new edition is also revised. There is a bit of risk and daring in using a light blue font to distinguish examples within paragraphs, and in using a new font for numbering. The light blue text is a bit hard to read at times, but for the main, it seems to add clarity. The daring numbering font is a bit less clear than the last edition, but probably only a keen font connoisseur would even notice.

    Content revisions:

    - Updated Materials throughout to reflect current style, technology, and professional practice

    - New coverage of journals and electronic publications

    - Comprehensive new chapter on American English grammar and usage by Bryan A. Garner (author of A Dictionary of Modern American Usage)

    - Updated and rewritten chapter on preparing mathematical copy

    - Reorganized and updated chapters on documentation, including guidance on citing electronic sources

    - Streamlined coverage of current design and production processes, with a glossary of key terms

    - New diagrams of the editing and production process4es for both books and journals, keyed to chapter discussions

    - Descriptive headings on all numbered paragraphs for ease of reference

    - New expanded Web site with special tools and features for Manual users -

    2-0 out of 5 stars It's riddled with typos...
    I think the title says it all!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Can't live without it
    Those of us in the publishing business could not get through a week without the book. Congratulations to the Chicago Manual of Style on its 15th edition.

    Eric Bollinger
    McKenna Publishing Group
    Publisher of "Two Dozen Lessons From An Editor" by Jim Woods.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Make Sure You Buy the 14th Edition, First
    The info you want and need is in the 14th Edition -- stick with that one and you'll never go wrong. This is like the "new coke." The 15th Edition seems to be an edition made different if only for the sake of being different (and, of course, to justify making money after a certain amount of years have passed since the 14th was published). I fear for the next generation if the 14th Edition were to become unavailable. I'm willing to bet the 16th Edition will very similar to the 14th, and only include the truly useful from the 15th (of which, I think, there is little). ... Read more

    8. Concise Rules Of Apa Style (Concise Rules of the American Psychological Association (APA) Style)
    by American Psychological Association
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $26.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1591472520
    Catlog: Book (2005-05-01)
    Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA)
    Sales Rank: 6773
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Critical Information for Writing for the APA Publications
    The first question you'd have to ask about this book is Why would the American Psychological Association have a style guide.

    The answer is that the APA Style is the definitive guide to the style that the APA wants to see in their publications and this style is also used by a number of other publications that have adopted the APA Style.

    Among the critical points of the APA Style is how to construct an error-free reference list crediting all sources properly and avoiding all charges of plagiarism. This has become extremely critical in today's world where any research seems subject to actively looking for any way they can discredit someone else rather than do their own work.

    In addition the style book is an authoritative guide to how best to present the ideas and data that is so hard to gather. Being able to present data in a way that is understandable to the reader is perhaps the most difficult yet the most important part of writing a paper.

    This book is the concise version. It is a small format book designed to be convenient, portable and yet complete. ... Read more

    9. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
    by William Strunk Jr., E.B. White, Roger Angell
    list price: $7.95
    our price: $7.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 020530902X
    Catlog: Book (2000-01-15)
    Publisher: Longman
    Sales Rank: 338
    Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This is the braille version of the timeless reference book. According to the St. Louis Dispatch, this "excellent book, which should go off to college with every freshman, is recognized as the best book of its kind we have." It should be the ". . . daily companion of anyone who writes for a living and, for that matter, anyone who writes at all" (Greensboro Daily New). "No book in shorter space, with fewer words, will help any writer more than this persistent little volume" (The Boston Globe). Two volumes in braille. ... Read more

    Reviews (195)

    5-0 out of 5 stars TEXTBOOKS DON'T HAVE TO BE BIG
    While skimming through Stephen King's book ON WRITING, he highly recommended THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE. Taking his advice I searched for a copy and found one in a free bin--of all places! I looked at it and decided that it was so much better than any other textbook that I had seen that I decided to WRITE IT. Three pages a day for a month or so. It's a very short book, only about 80 pages or so. You learn everything from words that are often spelled wrong, to punctuation, to style, etc. Very blunt and to the point. No exercises in here, problems 1 - 10 all. Nope, you just read this book and enjoy it. Why, there's actually a little humor in it at times, which is pretty good for a textbook. Now I've heard some people say that this book is bad because it is saying to follow all these rules and don't stray from them. I think they got it all wrong. This book is essentially saying this: you can't blaze new trails in the English language without having a solid foundation in the basics first! This goes for ANYTHING. You don't suddenly set off an a 200 mile trek, you slowly work up to it, starting from the basics. After you have mastered the basics, then you can break free. One thing that this book continually points out is that it is OFTEN A MATTER OF EAR. Meaning that if you are experienced enough, you will know whether to stick to the traditional or whether to be liberal when phrasing something, for example. By far this is the most talked-about textbook that I've seen and the most valuable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Little Book
    A pithy little handbook that gives rules and examples to help you avoid the most common mistakes in writing, plus some smart advice on the finer points by a renowned essayist and children's writer. It is by far the single most useful book on writing. But it is not the last word. For those who wish to go further, I recommend these books in addition to Strunk & White: The Prentice Hall Handbook for Writers, for a review of basic grammar and syntax; Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace, by Joseph M. Williams, for more detailed advice on constructing paragraphs; The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing, by Thomas Kane, for more general advice; and Garner's Modern American Usage, for intelligent, detailed, and up-to-date guidance on diction. All these books belong on the shelf of every serious writer.

    (By the way, I agree with the previous reviewer that the third edition is slightly preferable to the current one.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Useful book for writers and editors
    For writers and those who work in publishing this little book contains a lot of matters worthy of consideration. It's not the most useful book I have on the subject (that honour goes to "Style Book" by Derek Wallace and Janet Hughes published in 1995) and I don't agree with everything the authors have to say, but it does contain a lot of useful tips, pointers and ways of polishing your text. You can't go wrong by giving it a careful read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Your ticket to becoming a better writer
    Few things can make you as self-conscious about your writing as reviewing a book that you feel has improved your writing. And few things are as silly as terribly written reviews praising such books. Hopefully, what I learned from this book will lead me to be able to write a review that will convince you to buy it.

    Many years ago I decided that I wanted to be able to write better, but I didn't really know where to begin. I'd taken classes, but I was unsatisfied with what I had learned. I'd learned how to assemble different kinds of essays or papers, but I strongly felt that something was lacking on a more basic level. My writing lacked, well, style.

    I happened to ask a professional writer I knew for advice. I asked him how one could become a better writer. The answer he gave me seemed completely underwhelming at the time: "Read the Elements of Style twice a month and compare its advice to your writing," he said. He suggested that I not merely read it once but that I read it continuously, as we all need to be reminded of the guidelines it provides. Writing is a skill that improves with constant practice, much like playing a musical instrument. Take your writing, apply the lessons and guidelines from this book, and see where you can improve things. While he insisted this was the most important advice I could receive, I remained skeptical.

    Eventually, I had the good sense to give his advice a shot. Soon afterwards, I was a published writer. I still use this book and refer to it regularly. If you use it regularly in the way my mentor described, it will make you a better writer as well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING
    Simply the most valuable book on my shelf. ... Read more

    10. On Writing Well, 25th Anniversary : The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (On Writing Well)
    by William Zinsser
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060006641
    Catlog: Book (2001-09-01)
    Publisher: HarperResource
    Sales Rank: 1458
    Average Customer Review: 4.49 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet. Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sole, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.

    ... Read more

    Reviews (82)

    5-0 out of 5 stars This book is EXCELLENT
    Since I've endeavored to follow my dream over the past three years to write a novel and my memoirs, I've purchased several books on writing. If there's anything that I can't stand, it's to read something that just doesn't hold my attention or is downright boring. And believe me, I've purchased a few books like that too. But (and Zinsser says it's okay to start a sentence with BUT), I caught a post on Writers Net that made mention of William Zinsser's book about writing nonfiction. I don't buy a book now without checking it out first. I'll have to admit that I was quite impressed with the reviews posted for Zinsser's book. I ordered it. I'm still patting myself on the back and wish I'd ordered the book three years ago when I first started writing. The first chapter in the book had me grinning from ear to ear. Thus,the first thing that came to my mind was "the man's got style". By the time I'd finished reading this book, I knew the man had a lot more going for him than just style. Any writing instructor that manages to write a "how to" book, and still make the book an enjoyable read, definitely has my respect. But (I love this) more than being an enjoyable read, it was an informative read. I highlight important information of a instruction book in bright yellow. Zinsser's book looked like a coloring book on the inside after I'd finished reading it. I'll place this book on my desk for quick reference in the future. I recommend it to anyone who is just starting out or has already made it in the literary world. Zinsser gets my vote as one of the very best in giving good writing instructors.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Indispensable nonfiction writing book
    Williams Zissner has written and edited dozens of books, many of them on the craft of writing. He's seen plenty of bad writing in his lifetime, and in "On Writing Well" he shows you how to avoid it.

    The book is divided into 4 sections and several chapters. The first 2 sections (pages 1-92) deal with the craft of nonfiction itself. Topics such as avoiding clutter, writing for the appropriate audience, word usage and beginning/ending the piece are covered, among several others. In section 3 (pages 95-229) he deals with specific forms of nonfiction, including travel writing, science and technology, sports and humor genres.

    The last section (pages 233-294) addresses finding your voice and general topics about the career and choices of the professional writer.

    This is a wonderful book for any prose writer, whether it's fiction, screenplays or travel articles. Zissner's love for the English language is transcended onto the page with each word he writes. He isn't afraid to say it like it is, mentioning that most people just simply write horribly and then offering his own opinion as to just why this is.

    "On Writing Well" should be in every writer's collection.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Confounding.
    A book on writing well should be impeccably written. This one isn't. Extraordinary.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good reference for all types of writers
    William Zinsser's book, On Writing Well, has been a popular guide to writing for many audiences. It has been used by undergraduate and graduate students and by aspiring and professional writers. I was recommended this book by a professor when I was in grauduate school. I never took the time to read the book until recently.

    I found Part I and II of the book to be too simplistic and bland. Zinsser spends more time describing and discussing grammar than actually demonstrating and explaining. There are no examples of grammar just descriptions of how to use it. Perhaps, Zinsser wanted to place more emphasis on writing than grammar in the book. It is not until Part III-Forms that Zinsser addresses how to write about a specific topic. He discusses writing topics such as nonfiction, interviews, travel, memoirs, business, sports, arts and humor. I found this to be the most helpful section of the book. Part IV-Attitudes describes the role and importance of writing style and decisions in writing.

    If you are looking for a book that teaches grammar or is a reference guide for grammar, this is not it. This book is a reference guide for writers. If you want to learn more about writing particular types of articles or books, refer to Part III-Forms.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An invaluable guide to effective writing.
    This well-presented, easy-to-read, and simple-to-understand book aimed at nonfiction writers, but from which fiction writers can also benefit, is an invaluable guide to achieving good writing through the continued use of the fundamental principles and practical insights it offers.
    Written for both beginners and professionals in a strong, clear and straightforward style, it teaches how to avoid bad writing by following a methodological approach to creating, shaping and self-editing your ideas in prose.
    Although sometimes the author's voice can come across as arrogant and boastful, making your read somewhat less pleasurable, I can assure you that only sound, concrete advice is presented here, free of fluff or tiring verbiage and illustrated by excellent examples that consistently emphasize the differences between correct and incorrect writing.
    Divided in four parts, each made up of numerous, concise, and easy to consult chapters, it includes topics such as simplicity, style, usage, unity, leads, endings, and audience. Special attention is devoted to various types of nonfiction writing, including interviews, travel articles, memoirs, business writing, scientific and technological writing, sports articles, humor, criticisms and periodical columns.
    Overall, this is one guide that can't afford to be missing from your bookshelf if you are serious about writing in a polished, well-defined and sharp style. As you write, you will find yourself referring to it again and again.

    For other books that focus on teaching good writing through the use of the tools of language, I also recommend Strunk's "The Elements of Style" and O'Conner's "Woe Is I" and "Words Fail Me". ... Read more

    11. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (Spiral Edition)
    by American Psychological Association
    list price: $33.95
    our price: $33.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1557988102
    Catlog: Book (2001-07-15)
    Publisher: American Psychological Association (APA)
    Sales Rank: 1610
    Average Customer Review: 3.52 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Book Description

    Softcover version of the authorship and style manual for researchers, practitioners, and students of psychology and other behavioral and social sciences. Includes new features on contemporary language issues and publishing standards. ... Read more

    Reviews (48)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money.
    As a graduate student in psychology, I suggest that the best way to learn APA style is to obtain a copy of a manuscript from a TA or your academic advisor. This book is ineptly organized and its own "style" is stultifying. The only saving grace is that it includes "pictures" of text formated in APA-style. A big complaint is that the Publication Manual pretends that the only kind of article written by psychologists involves presenting the results of an empirical investigation. Another is the unwieldy and illogical system of citation (especially of material found on the Web). Also, I would like for the publishers to at least acknowledge that what is actually published in professional journals often bears no resemblance to the format required for submission. Whatever you do, do not buy the APA Style Helper software.

    5-0 out of 5 stars If required to write in APA, you can't live without it
    If you have any need to write in APA, this book is a must. This is the standard by which your work will be judged. If you are not familiar with APA format, you may find this book very unwieldy and confusing at first. A great way to get started is to just open it to page 306-320, which is a sample paper written and formatted in APA style. Each salient feature is denoted with a comment balloon referring you to the applicable section of the guide. This simple technique should get you started.
    Many people complain about the overabundance of seemingly useless and needless information. However, I feel that the completeness of the guide is its strength. The guide deals with every facet of the a concern in a very thoughtful, complete way. Sometimes I find myself laughing at the completeness that the guide gives a particular topic, but at times when I am seeking to answer a specific formatting, grammar, or organizational question, I am extremely thankful for that completeness.
    This book is indispensable, one of my most-referred-to reference materials. If you are writing an APA style paper for a class in school and won't ever need to use it again, go to the public library at borrow it. If you will be writing often, you should definitely buy it. No matter what, don't write an APA-style paper without it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great book...BUT
    This book is extremely easy to use. Full of information and most of my teachers use it as a foundation for grading our papers...however, the text is written in a light font. It makes it very hard to read. I have to hold the book at an angle and keep moving several times. I even went to a book store and found the book, hoping that perhaps this book was faulty. Unfortunatly, this was not the case. Too bad, its a good product, just hard to read, especially when you're tired, you don't need to straining your eyesight to make it better to see. It's a shame. It is a terrific book, easy to follow, with plenty of do's and don'ts etc.

    The book is so good. I am seriously contemplating taking it to a Kwik Kopy and photocopying the entire book at a darker print to make it easier to read. The book is THAT GOOD.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Unhelpful Guide about an Unenlightening Style
    Like some of the other reviewers, I am in a program of advanced study in which APA is the "accepted" style of citation for scholarly research. As we can see, APA is an absolutely dreadful citation style, especially with its prohibition of footnotes, leading to incomprehensible paragraphs in which your prose is murdered by names and dates in parentheses. The lack of required page numbers in your citations also allows you, if you're so inclined, to transform your references into all sorts of unsupported speculation and conjecture, and no reader will be able to prove or disprove what you're saying. I realize that arguing about the merits of APA style is not the same as reviewing the merits of this book. But the weaknesses in the core citation style are so prevalent that it would be impossible to create a book of this nature with any sort of usefulness.

    Now let's get to the trouble with this particular book. First, it is unnecessarily humungous, trying to beef up the very thin body of APA citation requirements (which by the way can be found for free all over the internet) with hugely unenlightening chapters on basic writing style and methods. Infinitely better guides on how to actually write and conduct research can be easily found elsewhere. Even when you do want to find instructions on the core requirements of APA citation style, this is an annoyingly difficult task in this atrociously organized and indexed book. A thin and under-compiled index sends you to hard-to-find section numbers rather than page numbers. And finally there is the practice of this book's publishers to promote a "new edition" which is merely the same as before with a couple of new entries, sold with a new cover and of course a new full price. In case you're wondering, about the only new information in this edition concerns how to reference websites and online publications. Once again, this info can be found for free on the internet, while you could also spend a pittance on a used copy of the supposedly "outdated" previous edition.

    This book gets two stars because it is nominally useful (at least in theory) if you're stuck with it. But if you find yourself required to use the talent-crushing APA style in your attempts to write something of importance, first try to convince your mentors that APA is inherently anti-intellectual. Then find a way to get out of any requirements to buy this unhelpful book, and find the information on the internet instead. [~doomsdayer520~]

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great resource!
    I think this book is a great resource for anyone who needs to write papers in APA. It is very thorough and well-organized. I've been thankful for it when writing term papers! ... Read more

    12. Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting
    by Robert McKee
    list price: $35.00
    our price: $23.10
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0060391685
    Catlog: Book (1997-12-17)
    Publisher: Regan Books
    Sales Rank: 1997
    Average Customer Review: 4.56 out of 5 stars
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    Writing for the screen is quirky business. A writer must labor meticulously over his or her prose, yet very little of that prose is ever heard by filmgoers. The few words that do reach the audience, in the form of the characters' dialogue, are, according to Robert McKee, best left to last in the writing process. ("As Alfred Hitchcock once remarked, 'When the screenplay has been written and the dialogue has been added, we're ready to shoot.' ") In Story, McKee puts into book form what he has been teaching screenwriters for years in his seminar on story structure, which is considered by many to be a prerequisite to the film biz. (The long list of film and television projects that McKee's students have written, directed, or produced includes Air Force One, The Deer Hunter, E.R., A Fish Called Wanda, Forrest Gump, NYPD Blue, and Sleepless in Seattle.) Legions of writers flock to Hollywood in search of easy money, calculating the best way to get rich quick. This book is not for them. McKee is passionate about the art of screenwriting. "No one needs yet another recipe book on how to reheat Hollywood leftovers," he writes. "We need a rediscovery of the underlying tenets of our art, the guiding principles that liberate talent." Story is a true path to just such a rediscovery. In it, McKee offers so much sound advice, drawing from sources as wide ranging as Aristotle and Casablanca, Stanislavski and Chinatown, that it is impossible not to come away feeling immeasurably better equipped to write a screenplay and infinitely more inspired to write a brilliant one.--Jane Steinberg ... Read more

    Reviews (104)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than any other writing book or course
    This book is by far the best book on narrative writing that I've ever read, and is also more useful to me than the many writing courses I've taken over the years. I'm a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop (MFA) and also took many writing courses as an undergraduate -- this single book beats them all put together.

    It's truly extraordinary how McKee is able to distill universal forms and principles from a huge variety of narrative writing (primarily screenplays, of course, but his insight extends beyond screenplays). One would think such an approach would be limiting and reductive, but the reverse is true: by helping the reader understand why and how effective narratives work, and how a writer should approach the creation of a screenplay, a universe of possibilities emerges.

    The main problem with writing workshops is that they focus on a student's work and what's wrong with it -- it's a very negative approach, the opposite of a support group, that rarely results in genuine improvement. As McKee notes, a lot of writers go through endless revision cycles in the hope of salvaging what's good in their work. But the problem with most narrative writing seems to be in its elemental structure -- the story and its progression -- which occurs on a "pre-writing" level. Once a story is committed to novel or screenplay form, the battle to forge this elemental structure is almost lost. McKee teaches the principles that writers should follow in this critical pre-writing stage as they develop the progression of their narrative.

    There's a lot of baloney being spewed in academia and elsewhere that creative writing can't be taught and that plot is relatively unimportant. McKee shows the lie in all this -- that narrative writing *can* be taught and that well-developed plot is critical. Save your money and time, skip the MFA programs, read this book and dedicate yourself to learning from it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent First Book
    Robert McKee's STORY is an excellent book, especially for those starting out in screenwriting or, for that matter, other forms of fiction. While his style is sometimes a bit pompous and aloof, his focus on "the story" as the most fundamental component of a film is right on target. In laying out what "works" for screenwriting, he also shows how film is unique from other forms of writing. As a novelist, currently adapting one of my works to a screenplay with another more experienced screenwriter, his insights were particularly helpful.

    What McKee's book will not do is provide the novice with a sense of format, lay-out, and terminology. This is very much a book targeted toward getting the fundamentals--the principles--of screenwriting down. While all readers may not agree with everything he suggests (indeed, I didn't), he lays out the basic structure, typologies, and analytics of screenwriting in an insightful and practical way.

    I noticed another reviewer thought this book was too formula driven. While McKee offers a basic formula to structure, he also acknowledged the diversity of good films and screenplays--there's plenty of room for creativity. What he provides is basic insight into what makes a "successful" screenplay--one that will be bought, produced, and be successful at the box office. (More appropriately, one that will cover its costs and make at least a small profit for its producers.)

    This was a very valuable book, and I highly recommend it as a stable of your writing library.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The real thing . . .
    I have now ploughed through seven different books on screenwriting. Robert McKee's "Story" distinguishes itself as the best in one significant way: It provides real insight into the strucure of story-telling, the techniques that make stories work and the traps that many writers fall into. This is not a paint-by-numbers approach. This book challenges you to think about the ways that people really behave, and how that can be translated in a meaningful way to the silver screen.

    If you are going to read just one book on screenwriting, this is the one. I am not sure I will mention Robert McKee in my acceptance speech when I receive my Academy Award for best screenplay , but I might send him a case of champagne ;-)

    1-0 out of 5 stars CHARLATAN MCKEE
    I attended Roberth Mckee's the I've-Never-Written-A-Screenplay-In-My-Life-But-Here's-How-In-Three-Hours "workshop". We all sat back and watched the glory and splendor of a few well-lit scenes from Casblanca as McHack droned on and on about their cinematic significance. I found myself occassionally embarrassed at having to wipe the sleep drool from my face. (Luckily I was smart enough to sneak in and not pay $450 for it). The book was worse. The class reminded me more of a cinematography class back at ole USC film school than ANYTHING related to literary theory. I have had one screenplay optioned and directed a short which was at Sundance and gone through developement hell and worked with a good script consultant (Ann Zald - Schindler's List) on my recent script, etc., etc. I'm no Larry Gelbart, but I've been a working, represented writer in this town. McKee's text is more of a rambling, seething mass of amateur exploration than anything resembling the intricacies and time tested princibles of narrative theory and execution. You'll be more confused and stupid reading this text than any other from my estimation. He's a hack. Actually he's not up to the title of hack because he hasn't written anything. Therefore he's a charlatan. For more correct information in my humble opinion and experience, get your feet wet with: Seger's How To Make A Good Script Great, Lajos Egri's The Art of Dramatic Writing; Howard and Mabley's The Tools Of Screeenwriting, Iglesias' 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters; THEN get more serious with Michael Rabiger's Developing Story Ideas and Gerard Genette's Narrative Discourse Revisited. Of course even better than all that, read the few greats of all time (w/o Cliff Notes, or anybody else's interpratations/footnotes/opinions, etc.): ALL the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, ALL the plays of Shakespeare, ALL of Moliere's comedies, ALL of Tolstoy, Shaw, Twain, Ibsen, Dickens, Austen, Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller. I also found How To Read A Book by Mortimer Adler/ Charles Van Doren useful- originally published in 1940 (get the revised and updated edition). Great Writers are Great Readers- Great Comprehenders. I have a lot to learn and read from many geniuses. McKee is not one of them. "There's a sucker born every minute and some people love to be snookered." - PT Barnum

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Book on Writing Ever
    Not an exaggeration at all. I've never read a better book on writing (and not just screenwriting either). This book transcends all forms of literature. Absolutely amazing. ... Read more

    13. The Allyn & Bacon Guide to Writing (3rd Edition)
    by John D. Ramage, John C. Bean, June Johnson
    list price: $70.00
    our price: $70.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0321106229
    Catlog: Book (2002-08-13)
    Publisher: Longman Publishing Group
    Sales Rank: 63757
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Cat in America
    Would like to view this Short Story ... Read more

    14. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas : A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
    by HUNTER S. THOMPSON, Ralph Steadman
    list price: $12.00
    our price: $9.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0679785892
    Catlog: Book (1998-05-12)
    Publisher: Vintage
    Sales Rank: 1684
    Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Reviews

    Heralded as the "best book on the dope decade" by the New York Times Book Review, Hunter S. Thompson's documented drug orgy through Las Vegas would no doubt leave Nancy Reagan blushing and D.A.R.E. founders rethinking their motto.Under the pseudonym of Raoul Duke, Thompson travels with his Samoan attorney, Dr. Gonzo, in a souped-up convertible dubbed the "Great Red Shark." In its trunk, they stow "two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half-full of cocaine and a whole galaxy of multicolored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers.... A quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls," which they manage to consume during their short tour.

    On assignment from a sports magazine to cover "the fabulous Mint 400"--a free-for-all biker's race in the heart of the Nevada desert--the drug-a-delic duo stumbles through Vegas in hallucinatory hopes of finding the American dream (two truck-stop waitresses tell them it's nearby, but can't remember if it's on the right or the left). They of course never get the story, but they do commit the only sins in Vegas: "burning the locals, abusing the tourists, terrifying the help." For Thompson to remember and pen his experiences with such clarity and wit is nothing short of a miracle; an impressive feat no matter how one feels about the subject matter. A first-rate sensibility twinger, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a pop-culture classic, an icon of an era past, and a nugget of pure comedic genius. --Rebekah Warren ... Read more

    Reviews (292)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grab a fifth and enjoy the ride
    This isn't a book for the Disneylandified Vegas crowd. This is for the off-strip, I've been up for 72 hours, get me another beer, the light is too bright, let it ride crowd.

    Hunter is at his best covering a race in the desert, attending a drug prevention convention (the irony!) and taking as much alternative substances as his body can handle. And then some. Lost in the world post-60s, he decries (with fear and loathing, of course!) what he sees happening as society backs off of "the high water mark".

    It's a book about the falacy of the American Dream. Vegas - land of illusion - is the perfect setting for a story that pops the balloon that is the American Dream. Travel with Hunter, and you are there, parking the boat he calls a car onto the sidewalk. You're there chatting it up with the law enforcement officers from Podunk Illinois. You're hoping your ODing mammoth of a friend is calming down.

    Sometimes runny, this gonzo journalism will surprise you with cutting observations of what is happening to society. Awesome read, that will poke holes in your view of Americana.

    5-0 out of 5 stars More truer now than it was originally!
    I personally live just outside of Las Vegas, and just about everything the good doctor wrote about is still true (especially Circus Circus). I can only imagine what he'd think of the quasi-Disneyland attractions that are there now.

    The drug content was to be expected at that era. The world was still in a white picket fence mode and "creative chemistry" was seen as a tool to escape from it (or at least, take a different view).

    The stream-of-consciousness writing style is a wonder to behold. You can practically feel your mind bob-sledding through the ether-induced haze, coming to a landing on both feet.

    As for weither or not it was real, get over it. Just wallow in the genius of the work; how it dissects the "American Dream" and how we were so rudely woken from it.

    And if you've seen the film, READ THE FREAKIN' BOOK AS WELL! You will discover a favorite quote or two that you'll find yourself using over and over again. I laughed so hard reading it the first time, my face hurt!

    It's a classic document of the tail end of the "flower power" generation, and the beginning of the narcisism of the 1970's. Classic American literature with sheer outright BALLS that's so dearly lacking in today's pop culture.

    I am certain that when Dr. Thompson reaches his final reward, he will have a never-ending orgy held in his honor, just for writing this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mindblowing at the very least!
    This nonfiction account of Hunter S Thompson's search for the American Dream is a trip you won't soon forget. It is not for the meek or squeamish. The substance abuse is staggering. I imagine there is some degree of exaggeration. Thompson himself has admitted as much in interviews. I must warn that the consumption in this book will be shocking if not scandalous to many.

    FEAR & LOATHING rocks with an unerring intensity. This book is written like a typewriter tanked on meth. The road trip, the hitchhiker, the booze and the drugs, spending an employers money destroying hotel rooms. It is a full force assault on the senses. It left me dazed and confused. It is hilarious at times but in that guilty way when you know that you really shouldn't be laughing. Raoul Duke is like Jerry Seinfeld in that you know he's a jerk but you can't help liking him.

    Thompson was an extreme individual. He was notorious for missing deadlines. Reading this book makes it easy to see why. He was very absorbed in the moment. He seemed more intent on getting hammered than on writing the book. But in the end, his extraordinary talent allowed him to produce an amazing book.

    The description of drug use will be disturbing to many readers. LSD, mescaline, cocaine, ether. Thompson doesn't seem to be very discriminant in what he'll introduce to his bloodstream. His consumption assumes staggering proportions here.

    The writing is surprisingly good. Thompson is able to convey the sensation of being there as all this insanity unfolds. He had a fine grasp of the English language and a deftness at cutting a good sentence. The carefree excitement of youthfulness is captured here. I always feel more alive when I finish this book. It is also a book that I refer to a lot. It is fun to read a single paragraph and then put it away.

    This book is for students of the 60s and for readers who like an intense, tumultuous trip into madness. It is shocking and even offensive to some but it is a great ride for those that like a bit of shock value in their entertainment. Truly great -- don't miss it! Along with FEAR & LOATHING, I also recommend THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez, a book whose writing was obviously strongly influenced by Thompson

    5-0 out of 5 stars OPPOSITES ATTRACT
    The beauty of a free country and free artistic expression is that it allows polar opposites to find themselves. Bill "Spaceman" Lee once told a conservative political audience that "I'm so conservative I eat road kill" and "I'm so conservative I'm standing back-to-back with Chairman Mao." Funny? Doesn't seem that way, but you never heard such laughter as responded to Lee's delivery. The same goes for my love affair with the writing of Hunter S. Thompson. You could walk the fruited plain from California to the New York Island and not find somebody more different from Thompson than me. Thompson would read my opinions and pronounce that I am an "enemy of the people." If I spent a weekend at his cabin in Woody Creek, however, we'd find common ground. I'm an absolute Reagan conservative, a total Christian, a flag-waving American patriot, an admirer of the military (particularly George Patton), a devotee of law'n'order...and a giant fan of Jim Morrison and Thompson!

    "Fear and Loathing" is so brilliant, so funny, so biting in its commentary, so revolutionary that I cannot do it justice herein. Thompson is just plain awesome. An insane writer, in the admirable as well as the literal sense.

    How to describe this book? "The '60s meets the John Birch Society"? "The American Dream meets the American nightmare"? I don't have it in me to analyze Hunter. He's too good, too out there. Just admiration, that's all I have left for him. The only thing left is mystique, because Thompson, despite years of stories and in-depth analyses, is still very much unknown. Can he be the guy he describes and survive? The truth, or the Truth as Hunter might call it, is that he probably is putting on a little act, but it is just questionable enough to leave doubt, or Doubt!

    I think Thompson is what Michael Moore wishes he was.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Unescapble Excursion into the American Aorta
    The movie is a good work. Hunter S. Thompson is an interesting man, but the novel is an entirely different world, a world where Don Juan and mysticism mesh with the concrete experience of conservatism.

    The world which the protagonist Rauol Duke lives in is one where people are "pigs and creeps" and drugs are an integral part of the daily experience. Fear and Loathing is not a linear tale of reckless abandon in the City of Sin but a convoluted tale of the thin line that exists between sucess and failure in the aftermath of the Acid Culture. Although Thompson claims that this piece of work is non fiction the sheer absurdity and subjective dialogue makes it hard to accept the validity of that claim.

    If you are an informant for the DEA, strong Christian, or live in the bible belt this book will only infuse anger in your soul, but if the world of chemical experimentation exposed through the use of masterful english and a corollary to the Great Gatsby expose then you are in for a treat. ... Read more

    15. Comedy Writing Secrets
    by Melvin Helitzer
    list price: $16.99
    our price: $11.55
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0898795109
    Catlog: Book (1992-03-01)
    Publisher: Writer's Digest Books
    Sales Rank: 2677
    Average Customer Review: 3.78 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (9)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not just for writers.
    This is really a wonderful book, but I think the title misleads a lot of people. Not only is this book great for comedy writers, but it's also just as good for comics of all types. Even if you're simply hoping to become a more humorous person in general, this book will for sure help you. I am more able to effectively make spontaneous jokes with my friends and I owe it to reading this book. I'm writing a screenplay for a comedy and that's how I came about this book, and I've run into a lot fewer writer's blocks and I've been able to increase the concentration of humor within the script. The only draw backs are its length and the writing. It's a little long, and the author isn't always easy to understand. His style breaks things down in a very technical sense, which can be hard to grasp at first. Other than that, I'd suggest it for ANYONE interested in humor.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Book the Pro Comics Read
    I'm a photo journalist and I interview a lot of professional
    touring comics when they hit Orange County (California). I'm amazed at the number of times these big time pros have "Comedy Writing Secrets" in their rooms. Last month Drew Carrey was photographed reading the book in a national ad he did for library services. Since I've read and loved the book, I use it as a conversation ice breaker while I'm lightting the set. The
    comics then feel more relaxed knowing we enjoy something in common.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Learn the fundamentals of comedy writing!
    The fundamentals of comedy writing haven't changed since this book was originally published, and Mel Helitzer (who's taught comedy writing at university for decades) delivers a step-by-step course on comedic writing, thinking, and acting.

    You'll learn the basics of comedy writing, the anatomy of humor, and the avenues by which you can turn your comedic talent into a well-paying pursuitÑand why the demand for humor writers far exceeds the supply. You'll also find more than a thousand one-liners, bits, and speech excerpts covering the entire range of comedy techniques.

    If you want a comprehensive guide to writing, selling, and performing all types of comedy, then this is the book you must read cover to cover and keep on your shelf for a lifetime of reference.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Put this book back in the time capsule
    This book is an antique. I found this book to be completely dated and unhelpful. Unless your are Schecky Green and going out on tour on the Catskills comedy circuit don't buy this book. If you plan on opening with "Take my wife, please", then you will find this book very helpful, if not then don't bother...RKC

    3-0 out of 5 stars Too long
    This is one of those books that are way too long than it should be. Very unfocused writing. Good ideas, but the author can't write. But three stars for a good analysis of what is comedy. Comedy is something with a surprise and something that makes you feel superior. The latter is so true and I never thought about it in that way...good analysis. The author really breaks down on the ingredients of a good joke. Good for anyone stuck and trying to create new jokes. But don't feel bad, Letterman has a team of writers that write his jokes, and he's still not funny. ... Read more

    16. A Writer's Reference, Fifth Edition
    by Diana Hacker
    list price: $47.60
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312397674
    Catlog: Book (2002-10-01)
    Publisher: Bedford Books
    Sales Rank: 147171
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (25)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent writing support...
    All students at Manchester College, IN, (where I teach) are expected to own and use a copy of this extremely helpful, user friendly reference guide to writing. The spiral bound format of the book is outstanding, since someone can have it open as they type, or jot down notes, or thoughts.

    The book is organized into three major sections: 1) Composition/Style, 2) Correctness, and 3) Format/Basic grammar. Each of those major sections are subdivided into four supporting subsections as follows:

    Composition/Style -- 1) Composing and revising, 2) Research writing, 3) Effective sentences, and 4) Word Choice.

    Correctness -- 1) Grammatical sentences, 2) ESL Trouble spots, 3) Punctuation, and 4) Spelling and mechanics.

    Format/Basic Grammar -- 1) Document design, 2) MLA documentation, 3) Alternative styles of documentation, and 4) Basic grammar.

    In addition to those sections, there are tutorials at the front of the book that helps the user get the best benefit from support available in the book. There are also ESL hints throughout the text, not just in the section dedicated to ESL challenges. The index is helpful, there are several URLs at the back of the book where a writer can go for more help, and there is even a page that shows revision symbols.

    There are ample examples throughout, and anyone who conscientiously applies the lessons in this book will become a better writer.

    This is a top-flight book with great things to offer everyone -- from struggling first-year college students taking their first composition class to the polished professional writer.

    The strengths of this text made this book the top choice to support our writing across the curriculum program at Manchester College. Many other colleges and universities also use this great book.

    5 stars for utility and support.

    Alan Holyoak, Dept of Biology, Manchester College, IN

    3-0 out of 5 stars Good handbook, except when it comes to revision
    Hacker's text is exceptionally easy to use, but this edition (like past editions) fails to focus on techniques writers can employ for revising papers--one of the more difficult and mysterious stages of the writing process. Instead, Hacker briefly discusses ways to revise sentences and paragraphs without focusing on approaches to the global revision of ideas, thesis statements, and the overall direction of an essay. I have used Hacker's handbook in the college classes I teach for years, but I am always forced to supplement it extensively with resources for practicing revision. At a time when composition studies and composition specialists are focused on process-oriented and technology-driven writing instruction, this is a handbook that omits a crucial component of most composition instruction.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great reference
    I purchased this book as a requirement for a college course -- and this is the only college "textbook" I haven't disposed of in some way. Its labeled tabs make it easy to access information with the flick of a finger, and the front and back menus make it somewhat easy to find the information you're looking for. My only complaint about this book is the lack of a comprehensive index. For instance, if I wanted to find information about comma usage, I cannot simply look up "comma". I must utilize the menu and think in a heirarchal way -- Punctiation --> The comma. There have also been times I was unable to find information because I was unable to categorize what I was looking for.

    Another aspect of this book is the online help. The book provides a URL where you can find supplemental information about the book and take interactive quizzes to test your grammar knowledge.

    Despite some of its quirks, I would highly recommend this book as a good reference.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The BIBLE for every English major in college!
    Every undergraduate in college at one time or another has more than likely used this book by Diana Hacker. And as an English major, I constantly refer to this book for writing papers, mainly in the MLA format. A Writer's Reference is reliable as well as the most authoritative, comprehensive, and trusted reference book on the market. Pick it up on Amazon,Com or at your local campus book store.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Simply the best
    Diana Hacker's A Writer's Reference is THE book for information on grammar, punctuation, mechanics, etc. All the information you need is there in one easy-to-use book. Even experienced writers will find it useful. ... Read more

    17. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
    list price: $17.50
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1592400876
    Catlog: Book (2004-04)
    Publisher: Gotham Books
    Sales Rank: 9
    Average Customer Review: 3.96 out of 5 stars
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    Download Description

    """You don't need to be a grammar nerd to enjoy this one...Who knew grammar could be so much fun?"" -NewsweekWe all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with." ... Read more

    Reviews (210)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Pleasure--and Helpful Instruction
    By Bill Marsano. This charming and useful little (209 pages) book, a surprise best-seller in England, offers short, clear, effective instruction for those who have trouble with punctuation--and a great deal of fun (I laughed out loud at least four times) for those who don't

    Lynne Truss sneakily addresses the former by way of the latter. She gives the punctuation-abled a lot of laughs at the expense of the punctuation-challenged, quoting signs, instructions and other items that can seem ridiculous--and even have their meanings made obscure or ridiculous--by poor punctuation. She's not mean-spirited about it, but she is pretty clear that although correct punctuation is something many people happily live without, not knowing how to handle apostrophes and commas and a handful of other simple marks is akin to lacking other basic but non-critical skills, such as tying shoelaces and telling time on a clock that has hands instead of digits.

    Besides--the instructions and explanations take up only about half the book, so now you're down to only about 100 pages. And the pages are small, too. Don't tell me you can't handle this.

    As for the rest, it's history and anecdote loosely wrapped in light-hearted prose. Truss is British and so is her book, so there will be a few references and locutions that give pause to Americans, but none I think are truly impenetrable. She has delightful stories about famous writers warring over punctuation: George Bernard Shaw hectoring Lawrence of Arabia, for example, and Harold Ross, editor of The New Yorker, at odds with James Thurber. My favorite chapter is on the semicolon, which is also my favorite punctuation mark. Truss quotes Gertrude Stein, who hated both comma (she called it "servile") and semicolon: "They [semicolons] are more powerful more imposing more pretentious than a comma but they are a comma all the same. They really have within them deeply within them fundamentally within them the comma nature." I have to hand it to Stein: She did a beautiful job of expressing her loathing and she did it with nothing more than the bare minimum: a pair of periods.

    I advise reading only one chapter a day, and for two reasons. First, Truss's prose style is occasionally too rich by half (and sometimes ungrammatical). Second, there are only seven chapters, and if you get as much pleasure out of this book as I did, you'll want to make it last.--Bill Marsano, a professional writer and editor, is a devotee of the suspensive hyphen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not at all what I expected
    When I first saw this book advertised, I thought, "Groan. Here's another academic and boring book on punctuation or the lack thereof." I ran screaming from the room each time an advertisement popped up or someone recommended the thing. And what's this title about? Some guy that eats something, shoots a basketball, and leaves? I was totally in the dark. Then I took the time to read the description---this after seeing the incredible ranking that the good people of Amazon have bestowed upon this literary creation---and my eyes were opened. This is one funny book! Not at all what I expected. And in the process, you actually learn something. Hopefully this will help those of us out there who are punctuation deficient, and be funny to those who aren't. Would also recommend to really great reads (and from what I could tell, both of these were punctuation savvy and up to snuff)---one is a book titled The Birth of Venus and the other is one called The Bark of the Dogwood. Both seem to have all their "i's" crossed and "t's" dotted . . . or, whatever . . .

    One final note: It's not about the Panda . . .

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hope for those of us who punctuate properly!!
    For a long time, I hid my sickness. I only talked about it to close friends, people who wouldn't judge me. I thought I was the only person who cringed each time I saw "your" when it should have been "you're" or wanted to rewrite entire reviews because of atrocious spelling and/or punctuation. Now I know that I'm not alone; in fact, I'm in good company. This book does the unthinkable. It takes both a humorous and an educational look at the often overlooked (and undertaught) world of punctuation. I actually found myself laughing out loud at parts of this book. That could be because I'm an English teacher, but I like to think it's because Lynne Truss is a funny lady and this is one funny book. The next time I'm about to pull my hair out while teaching apostrophes to eighth-graders, I'll pull out this book and have a good laugh. Lord knows I'll need it.

    4-0 out of 5 stars An Editor's Witty New Friend
    I like Lynne Truss. I'd love to have a long lunch with her. Not because she's a grammar know-it-all but because she's intelligent and funny at the same time. This is apparent in her book "Eats, Shoots and Leaves." As an editor, I've shared many of the same emotions as Truss concerning dropped commas, unnecessary apostrophes and mangled colons. She's a lady after my own heart. I gleaned a lot of useful history behind the rules and laughed heartily while doing it. Who knew there was so much to the apostrophe?

    I'm also thankful that Truss is mindful of different styles (AP being the one I adhere to) and the ways of we wacky Americans. She knows that grammar itself continues to change over the centuries.

    Truss is a beacon of hope for those who despair that any semblance of structure is fast evaporating from all written discourse. Just read the message boards on any Web site (full of "i luv ths book!" and the like) and you'll understand what I mean.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fun and Educational
    "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" is a book for everyone who gets frustrated at newspaper headlines that are shorted to the point of making no sense, grammatical and punctuation errors made by people who should know better, and the totally crazy spelling of band names.

    While I am not the Queen of Punctuation, I still found myself chuckling throughout the book. But on top of the chuckling, and perhaps even more importantly, I learned things about punctuation that either I hadn't known before or had forgotten!

    So now I will try to live up to the expectations of Lynne Truss and put my new found punctuation and grammer knowledge to use. Ms. Ambrose, my favorite teacher in elementary school, would be so proud! ... Read more

    18. Rules for Writers
    by Diana Hacker
    list price: $26.95
    our price: $25.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0312406851
    Catlog: Book (2003-07-22)
    Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's
    Sales Rank: 37814
    Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars THE book on writing properly
    This is arguably one of the most well-written books on the subject of writing that I've seen thus far. The author provides the reader with a comprehensive set of tools, definitions and mechanics that are essential in most every form of writing. While this book is well-aimed towards those who write academic papers or journalistic publications, 'Rules for Writers' will help improve the writing skills of those who communicate with others via email or who wish to acquire skills in writing professional business letters.

    The chapters are easily laid out and will help a reader regardless of whether the entire book is to be read from beginning to end, or if a specific subject is sought (punctuation, etc). This book has helped me with my academic writing and I highly recommend it for those who regularly write essays or other forms of correspondence.

    3-0 out of 5 stars "For students" is right
    While this may indeed be handy for students working on papers, I found it too cumbersome for daily on-the-job reference. My fault for buying it without giving it a thorough look.

    The detailed index is nicely done.

    This one will go back to the store, to be replaced with Karen Gordon's Transitive Vampire. Meanwhile, I'll stick with Strunk.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good book for students
    I found this book a useful tool for people who need a helping hand in their writing. It's not for the person looking for a quick referance. There are many helpful exercise to help you better understand you writing problems.

    3-0 out of 5 stars The least imperfect of available handbooks on grammar.
    Retains most of the necessary regulations, but permits the split infinitive: p. 113: "We decided actually to enforce the law" IS perfectly natural; those who disagree should revise to "We decided that we should actually enforce the law." Also, indefinite singulars, like "everyone" should never be equated with "their"! "Everyone" always must equal "he or she." I shall require the text again for my Quality Composition course, but with a lengthy note-sheet of qualifications. ... Read more

    19. An Introduction to Literature, 13th Edition
    by Sylvan Barnet, William Burto, William E. Cain
    list price: $67.00
    our price: $67.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0321105702
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-27)
    Publisher: Longman
    Sales Rank: 43904
    Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A leader in the market for over 30 years, this paperback anthology continues to uphold the traditions that have made it a success - classic and contemporary selections with a range of multicultural voices as well as a non-intrusive apparatus that covers the elements of literature and the writing process while incorporating fresh new material. The new edition features "Writer's at Work", a novel, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, a new casebook on Hamlet, a 24-page color insert "Poems and Paintings" and more student writing throughout. For anyone interested in literature. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great for my Literature Class. . . BUT
    I bought this book for my college Literature class, overpaid as usual too. After a semester of use, the cover is falling apart, the pages are thin and rip easily and all of the paper is of a material that is hard to clean pencil marks from.

    However, it is a great book. It contains a wealth of poems, stories and advice between the poorly-made pages. And, since the pages are thin, it wasn't as heavy to lug around campus. Very good content though, as I said. The stories are multi-national, there is abstract and realistic, old-fashioned and very modern, some ancient and even the lyrics to 1960's folk songs! One of my favorite lines in the book is "Margaret are you weeping over golden grove unleafing?" I also like the old sailors poem Western Wind "Western wind when wilt though blow? The small rain down can rain. Christ that my love were in my arms and I in my bed again."

    Perhaps it helps that my literature professor is top notch and a noted author as well (Kent Meyers "The Work of Wolves") but he really made me love this book! There is gold within these pages, a very good choice for teaching college students to truly appreciate the many genres of literature from around the world and through the ages.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Misleading
    I ordered the 13th edition and received the 5th edition. The order was clearly placed for the 13th edition; it had the caption, picture and everything, when I ordered. Then When I received the wrong book I e-mailed back to see what happened and they replied that I didn't see their small caption at the bottom that read 5th edition. This captioned was not available when I purchased the book.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Helpful for my Lit class. Book VERY POORLY MADE!!!
    This book was very useful for my Introduction to Literature class. (Naturally) Contains works from many of the great authors.

    I am VERY,VERY disapointed in the overall quality of the book. DON'T BUY THE PAPER BACK EDITION. Get it in hard back if you can. With my copy of this book, as well as, the copies that belonged to several other members of my Lit. class, the binding broke and the book fell apart. Now I can't resell it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another Great Anthology Literature
    Currently a college student who is currently using this book for the third (last year) quarter of english. This is what i would consider a great anthology filled with many literature. How this differs from other books is that it contains a ton of plays, drama, rather then just short stories found in other anthologies. For mostly short stories divided into major sections, i recommend a book called An Introduction to Literature by author, ABACARION. It has poems, short stories, plays, and essays divided into major topics including "culture and identity, conformity and rebellion, and innocense to experience which are major topics covered in college." ... Read more

    20. Understanding English Grammar (6th Edition)
    by Martha Kolln, Robert Funk
    list price: $91.33
    our price: $91.33
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0205336221
    Catlog: Book (2001-06-19)
    Publisher: Longman
    Sales Rank: 51398
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    This highly praised, and top selling book on developing advanced grammar skills is a comprehensive description of sentence structure that encourages its readers to recognize and use their innate language expertise as they study the systematic nature of sentence grammar. A practical blend of the most useful elements of traditional, structural, and transformational grammar, this book emphasizes whole structures, most specifically the ten basic sentence patterns introduced in Chapter 2. Two key features separate this book from others: its clear organization and its user-friendly, accessible language. Users appreciate the self-teaching quality that incremental exercises provide throughout the chapters, with answers at the end of the book.For anyone interested in improving their grammar. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book, Good Grammar, Happy Tummy
    I'm a fiction writer. And there are four books within reach of my writing desk. The most recent addition has been Martha Kolln's Understanding English Grammar. This bad boy has it all, folks. If you're like me, you get tripped up on lie and lay like the rest of us, and those kinds of words (and the rules underlying them) are at the very heart of what UEG sets out to clarify. I think I first went to Kolln's masterpiece for help with prepositions. I don't know who first introduced prepositions into the English language, man, but I'd like beat him with a wet dish rag!

    As Kolln says on page 320: "Prepositions are among the most difficult words in the language for foreign speakers to master." I'd take this a step further; I'd say they're the most difficult words for _English_ speakers to master. A couple of examples she lists:

    Be sure to fill out the form carefully.
    Be sure to fill in the form carefully.

    He wasn't fired.
    He didn't get fired.

    Can _you_ spot the correct usage above? Well, if it gives you pause then Understanding English Grammar may be the book for you. It is a model of grammatical clarity and a wonderful reference book to turn to in times of grammatical doubt:~)

    Other books I keep close by my writing desk include: "The Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms," Richard Lanham's "A Handlist of Rhetorical Terms," and The Holy Bible. If cleanliness is next to Godliness, grammatical perfection is like Zen awareness. You know it's possible to attain, but achieving it is another matter altogether. Kolln's book can help -- with the grammar, that is.


    5-0 out of 5 stars A (very rare) compendium of English structural grammar
    It turns out that this handbook makes a huge success of introducing the structural work on English syntax. This compendious guide will never prove to be a disppointment to those who see the value of structuralism.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Working Your way backwards
    I have been using this as the text in my grammar class at Stephen F. Austin State University and I find it very helpful. It is a wonderful place to start for anyone wanting to be a better writer. If you can find the workbook that goes along with it I suggest using it. My only complaint is the sequence of the chapeters. I would start with the last section and then work my forward.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A highly in-depth English grammar
    I own the second edition of this book. Simply put, if you are comfortable with the interpolation of linguistic concepts and transformational-generative grammar with traditional English grammar, then this is definitely the book for you. If, however, you either disdain the relegation of traditional grammatical terminology in favor of the transformational type, or simply feel that the two grammars should be kept separate, then I fear that you will find this book confusing, at best, or downright irritating. ... Read more

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