The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing
Pdf Book Name: The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing
Author: Thomas S. Kane
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
ISBN-10, 13: 9780425176405,0425176401
Pages: 446 Pages
File size: 3 MB
File format: PDF,EPUB
The Oxford Essential Guide to Writing Pdf Book Description:
Two broad assumptions underlie this book: (1) that writing is a rational activity, and (2) that it is a valuable activity. To say that writing is rational means nothing more than that it is an exercise of mind requiring the mastery of techniques anyone can learn. Obviously, there are limits: one cannot learn to write like Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. You can’t become a genius by reading a book. But you don’t have to be a genius to write clear, effective English. You just have to understand what writing involves and to know how to handle words and sentences and paragraphs. That you can learn. If you do, you can communicate what you want to communicate in words other people can understand. This book will help by showing you what good writers do. The second assumption is that writing is worth learning. It is of immediate practical benefit in almost any job or career. Certainly there are many jobs in which you can get along without being able to write clearly. If you know how to write, however, you will get along faster and farther.
There is another, more profound value to writing. We create ourselves by words. Before we are businesspeople or lawyers or engineers or teachers, we are human beings. Our growth as human beings depends on our capacity to understand and to use language. Writing is a way of growing. No one would argue that being able to write will make you morally better. But it will make you more complex and more interesting—in a word, more human. Often, of course, you are not free to choose at all. You must compose a report for a business meeting or write on an assigned topic for an English class. The problem then becomes not what to write about but how to attack it, a question we’ll discuss in Chapters 5 and 6. When you can select a subject for yourself, it ought to interest you, and interest others as well, at least potentially. It should be within the range of your experience and skill, though it is best if it stretches you. It ought to be neither so vast that no one person can encompass it nor so narrow and trivial that no one cares. Don’t be afraid to express your own opinions and feelings. You are a vital part of the subject. No matter what the topic, you are really writing about how you understand it, how you feel about it. Good writing has personality. Readers enjoy sensing a mind at work, hearing a clear voice, responding to an unusual sensibility. If you have chosen a topic that is of general concern, and if genuine feeling and intelligence come through, you will be interesting. Interest lies not so much in a topic as in what a writer has made of it.
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