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Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The essential guide for all writers. With over 700 examples of original and edited sentences, this book provides information about editing techniques, grammar, and usage for every writer from the...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

You've got to buy this book!

Superb! I am a programmer by day and a writer of articles on programming at other times. Growing up in England I was taught every miniscule detail of the English language. How to construct sentences and how pronunciation changes depending on word stems, Country of origin and so on. I had a pretty good grasp on writing. At work I spend some of my time re-writing briefing notes, user manuals, and proof-reading emails. On top of this I study grammar and style manuals. You get a feel for where I'm coming from in terms of expertise. This book changed my entire outlook on writing. I am only up to page 26 and already I have hacked through some articles like a whipper-snipper through a weeded garden. I found some habitual mistakes I constantly make and curbed some emerging ones. This is a fantastic book! The last briefing note I edited started as a monstrosity of bad grammar and ended as a shining example of what this book has to offer. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is only 200 pages but not a word is wasted. It is concise and packed full of information and is an example of its own subject.

A Great Book Has Always Been Greatly Revised

As the saying goes, "It's all in the revision." Or, there are no great first drafts. The true masters know that first drafts are terrible, second drafts are slightly better, and in the ninth or twelfth or twentieth draft, after sentences have been improved "Line by Line," mellifluous, deft prose reveals clearly what the author means to say. The meaning of too much writing is bogged down and obscured by under-par line editing. I once had the opportunity to work with an editor who had been at Henry Holt for many years, and when we sat down to go over my manuscript, she recommended this particular book. It has been at my bedside, along with the Bible and Whitman's "Leaves of Grass," ever since. The product of her years as a copy editor for the Modern Language Association (every writer should also own the MLA Handbook) Claire Cook's "Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing," is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for those who have yet to memorize "the little book" by Strunk and White. Even an English major and MFA holder who has written for newspapers, magazines, and literary journals will benefit greatly, and improve his or her chances of publication, by "eliminating the stylistic faults that most often impede reading and obscure meaning." A straightforward, five-chapter sequence addresses overwritten sentences, bad transitions, "mismanaged" references, problems with punctuation (at the advanced level), and other mistakes that doom writing, whether you're attempting to fine-tune a newsletter, a scholarly paper, a business proposal, or a short story. I have seen many, many books on improving one's writing, and this is, as the Holt editor indicated, as necessary a writing manual as Strunk and White's, and one that will elevate you from competent amateur to master prose stylist. (also recommended for the serious writer at any level: "The First Five Pages: A Writer's Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile," by Noah Lukeman).

If you write, you should read this book.

This book is fantastic. It's only about 200 pages, but densely packed with useful information, and every single page deserves careful study. The glossary of commonly confused words at the end is worth 10$ all by itself. This is not a grammar book (though there is an appendix that gives an overview of English grammar). It is a book designed to improve your writing. It helps you make solid decisions about sentence structure, placing punctuation, and choosing the right words. This book can help guide you through some of the thorniest and most subjective aspects of writing English.One of the neatest things about this book is that, in addition to the copious examples, the text itself serves as an example of excellent writing. Perhaps the major drawback is that after reading this book, you will end up being much more critical of the writing you encounter!

Essential guide to revising one's own writing

Absolutely fabulous work designed to help you edit your own writing. It's that perspective that distinguishes Line by Line from anything else. What should you look for in revising your sentences. What is good grammatical structure, proper punctuation, etc. The book should achieve the status of a classic -- it is that good
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