Understanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your Writing by Joe GlaserUnderstanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your Writing by Joe Glaser

Understanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your Writing

byJoe Glaser

Paperback | February 19, 2015

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Understanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your Writing, Third Edition, uses the findings of modern linguistics to explore the relationship between written and spoken voices and to uncover little-known ways to control rhythm and emphasis. With a focus on sound and voice, author Joe Glaserexplains and illustrates measurable, non-subjective keys to good writing - an approach that yields practical writing techniques and advice rarely found elsewhere. An excellent choice for courses in advanced composition, this book also covers more standard topics such as economy, diction, coherence,and variety - along with abundant open-ended exercises drawn from business, history, popular science, and other areas.
Joe Glaser is Professor Emeritus of English at Western Kentucky University.
Title:Understanding Style: Practical Ways to Improve Your WritingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:336 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:February 19, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199342628

ISBN - 13:9780199342624

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Table of Contents

PrefacePART 1. FOUNDATIONS1. The Sentence as the Foundation of StyleStart most sentences with the subjectMake your subjects definitely named actorsMake your verbs name definite actionsWrite mostly in independent clausesKeep subjects and verbs close togetherKeep verbs and complements close togetherUse single verbs with multiple subjects. Use single subjects with multiple verbsFavour the active voiceChoose positive rather than negative constructionsFocus each sentence on the ideas expressed by the subject and predicateMix long and short sentencesEnd sentences with a bang, not a whimperMakeoverYour writingChecklist2. Style and Audience: What's Your Purpose? Who's Your Reader?Always write with a purpose in mindBe alert for key words in assignmentsSupply your own key words if necessaryAlways consider your readerCreate an imaginary readerCreate special readers for special situationsEnlist your enemies as readersYour WritingChecklistPART 2. WHAT STYLE IS: GOOD AND BAD WRITING3. Voices You Want To Listen to: Elements of a Written VoiceVoice and the Sound Qualities of WritingVoice and the Writing SituationGrammar and VoiceDiction and VoiceAvoiding Discriminatory LanguageA Gallery of VoicesYour WritingChecklist4. Voices That Put You Off: Common Modes of Bad WritingThe Professional ProfessionalThe Creative GeniusThe ZombieThe KlutzYour WritingChecklist5. Two Common Problems: Overwriting and UnderwritingEliminating DeadwoodHow Much Cutting Is Enough?Varieties of Deadwood--Verbal Filler--Authorspeak--OverexplainingA Caution Against UnderwritingMakeover 1Makeover 2Your WritingChecklistPART 3. ACCURATE, EFFECTIVE WORD CHOICE6. Finding the Right Words: What's in a Name?A World of WordsOther Word BooksTypes of Diction--Formal and Informal Words--General and Particular Words--Abstract and Concrete Words--Long and Short Words--Learned and Commonplace Words--Connotative and Neutral WordsMakeover 1Makeover 2Your WritingChecklist7. Finding Fresh Words: Cliches, Usage, Figurative LanguageCliches Beat a Hasty Retreat: A Learning ExperienceUsage Demons and CranksSome Notes on QuotingFigurative LanguageMakeoverYour WritingChecklist8. Naming Definite Actors and ActionsNaming Definite Actors--Avoiding Indefinite Actors--The Problem of NominalizationsNaming Definite Actions--Avoiding Weak Verbs: To Be--Other Weak Verbs--Unnecessary Auxiliaries--Unnecessary Passive VerbsKeeping Actors and Actions TogetherMakeoverYour WritingChecklistPart 4. TRADE SECRETS: COHESION, EMPHASIS, RHYTHM, AND VARIETY9. Cohesion: Making Sentences ConnectMaintaining Related Grammatical SubjectsPatterns of Old and New InformationReinforcing Cohesion with Transitional DevicesReinforcing Cohesion with Coordinate StructuresReinforcing Cohesion with Subordinate StructuresMakeoverYour WritingChecklist10. Assigning EmphasisNuclear EmphasisComing to a Good EndNuclear Stress in Lesser Breath UnitsA Note on PunctuationPatterns of EmphasisUsing Grammatical Transformations to Shift EmphasisEmphasis Through Grammatical BulkMakeoverYour WritingChecklist11. Controlling RhythmSentence RhythmsTypes of Breath UnitsAvoiding Overlong Breath UnitsUsing Breath Units to Control RhythmUsing Stress to Control RhythmUsing Long and Short Words to Control RhythmMakeoverYour WritingChecklist12. Grammatical VarietyHow Sentences Become ComplexGrammatical Variety in ContextVarying Sentence Structure with NominalsVarying Sentence Structure with AdjectivalsVarying Sentence Structure with AdverbialsVarying Sentence Structure with Parallel ConstructionGrammatical EmphasisMakeoverYour WritingChecklistPART 5. WIDER CONSIDERATIONS13. The Logic Of PersuasionRogerian ArgumentToulmin LogicYour WritingChecklist14. Making Good Use of Sources and TechnologyUse appropriate graphicsResearch everythingImportant cautions--Evaluate your sources--Treat your sources fairly--Fit Researched Material Neatly into Your TextYour WritingChecklistAPPENDICESAppendix A: A Brief Dictionary of UsageAppendix B: Alphabetical Guide to PunctuationAppendix C: Glossary

Editorial Reviews

"Glaser's volume is clearly one way to restore the writer's sensibility or to, at minimum, expose students to these ideas. There are a million composition and rhetoric texts with the same lock-step process-this isn't one of them." --Susan Sutherlin, Butler University