Many books on writing tell you how to think more creatively, how to conjure up an idea from scratch. Many, once you have an idea, show you how to express it clearly and elegantly. And many handbooks offer reliable advice on the use of commas, semicolons, and so forth. But The New OxfordGuide to Writing does all three, so that no matter where you find yourself in the writing process--from the daunting look of a blank page, to the rough draft that needs shaping, to the small but important questions of punctuation--you will find what you need in one handy volume. Highlighted by numerous examples of successful prose--including marvelous, brief excerpts from Mark Twain, Joan Didion, H.L. Mencken, E.B. White, and Annie Dillard--this stimulating volume covers the entire subject step-by-step, clearly and authoritatively. It shows: * How to use commonplace books and journals to store ideas, how to brainstorm, how to explore a potential topic systematically * How to use a statement of purpose or an outline to give preliminary shape to your material, how to use drafts and revisions (and more revisions) to refine your ideas * How to open an essay clearly and interestingly, how to lead the reader subtly, how to use qualifications to express complexity without sacrificing impact * How to organize ideas into a coherent paragraph, how to vary sentence structure and length for variety and emphasis * How to select words that convey both information and point of view * And much, much more In addition, it contains a useful appendix on punctuation, ranging from commas and periods to underlining and capitalization. Whether you write for business or for pleasure, whether you are a beginner or an experienced pro, The New Oxford Guide to Writing is an essential addition to your reference library, providing abundant assistance and encouragement to write with more clarity, more color, and more force.