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On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction Paperback – May 9 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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  • On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 1 edition (May 9 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060891548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060891541
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.1 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

William Zinsser is a writer, editor and teacher. He began his career on the New York Herald Tribune and has since written regularly for leading magazines. During the 1970s he was master of Branford College at Yale. His 17 books, ranging from baseball to music to American travel, include the influential Writing to Learn and Writing About Your Life. He teaches at the New School in New York.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As noted by other reviewers, the book lacks a lot on instructions but deserves considerable merit for its illustrative content.

The book contains many excerpts from known and respected authors. While these examples are good and can put you in the 'write' frame of mind, I was expecting more, much more, in terms of intructionnal content and format,perhaps somethink like "Keys to Great Writing" by Stephen Wilbers.

For those of you who are looking for instructions per se, "The Elements of Style" by William Strunk and E.B. White; and "Keys to Great Writing" are much better choices,in my view.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for one chapter - writing about one's family. But after reading that I flipped back to the beginning and enjoyed the entire book. Zinsser expresses his thoughts clearly and his examples are entertaining. There are many books about writing, but this deserves space in your reading list and book shelf!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is less of a manual and more of an inspirational guide with examples of writers trying to find their way to and through a subject. The style is very readable and makes the idea of writing a memoir or tackling any subject more accessible to all of us who feel we have a story to tell.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was never really interested in language or writing. I thought of it as a utility. I picked it up because I saw it recommended by John Gruber on the dairingfireball, and man I am glad I did.

The title of the book describes it perfectly.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book two decades ago and was moved to keep the unnecessary words out of my writing, I've read it again and got even more fluff out of my stuff. Could have done without the extra chapters, but for the specialists it should be helpful.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Zinsser leads you through his thought process in achieving simplicity, clarity and humanity while expressing your own voice, your own writing style. His dry humor makes this an enjoyable read for every aspiring non-fiction writer.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Beautiful and eloquently written by Zinsser. His descriptions are largely based on his own writings and experiences. An informative read for non fiction writers in particular.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazing read. Very inspirational. Good solid tome, full of sage advice from an experienced, accomplished writer. Lots of examples, clearly explained.
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