The Little Red Writing Book: 20 Powerful Principles of Structure, Style, & Readability

Brandon Royal, Author Writers Digest Books $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-58297-336-4
In this smart, pleasingly designed handbook, test-prep expert Royal (Ace the GMAT) explores 20""immutable principles of writing"" and 30 basic rules of grammar and syntax with an eye to helping students craft better essays and business professionals compose more persuasive reports. Beginning with rules of structure (in expository writing, put the thesis first; break the subject down into two to four parts; finish discussing one topic before moving on to another), Royal then moves into stylistic advice--a most welcome section for anyone who's ever slogged through reports full of phrases like""implementation of optimized functionality."" Why use""compensate"" when""pay"" will do--or""cognizant"" when""aware"" is enough? Royal also counsels readers to vary sentence structure, avoid redundancy and use active phrasing. New advice? Hardly. But it's presented confidently and clearly, and the book's tone feels appropriate for its audience of ambitious students and professionals--those who have plenty of brains, but need a little brush-up with the pen. The grammar workshop at the end is similarly firm and useful.
Reviewed on: 09/01/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
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