On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

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 sold, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.

Nanci Arvizu, Writing and Reviews Editor

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3 Comments

  1. In response to the criticism that Zinsser “generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous” The most damaging (but fair) criticism I’ve heard of this book came from reviewer D. Fineman who said, “He generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous. … He feels free to judge — for instance scientists — outside his field.” 

  2. A CLASSIC GUIDE TO WRITING WELL On Writing Well, by William Zinsser, is meant to compliment The Elements of Style by Stunk and White. In Zinsser’s own words “The Elements of Style is a book of pointers and admonitions: do this, don’t do that. What it didn’t address was how to apply those principles to the various forms that nonfiction writing and journalism can take.” 

  3. Very good – but know what you’re getting First, note the title: On Writing Well. That is how one titles an essay. It is NOT a technical book that will lay out how to write. It’s a collection of well written essays about different factors that will help you write better. The negative reviews are a bit ridiculous in their complaints because they expected something other than what the book is (ironically a lot of them are poorly written as well). If you’re a professional writer, this probably won’t do much for you. If you like writing…

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