August 26th, 2009

manga tenpou reading

Reference: Rules for Writers

Rules for Writers by Diana Hacker
Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, and other bookstores (online and off).

Description: Rules for Writers is a complete writing handbook that covers grammar, style, and mechanics.

Why is it useful? This book covers most of the grammatical questions you’ll ever want to ask by explaining concepts in straightfoward (if rather dry) language, then demonstrating them through the use of clear, easy-to-understand examples. The table of contents is divided into sections that make sense, with sub-sections that are clearly marked and have titles that make it easy to find what you’re looking for: advice on clarity, grammar, punctuation, the mechanics of capitalization, or the differences between the MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.

Even though much of this handbook is geared toward use in college classrooms, nearly all of the information in it also applies to non-academic writing. And I’m always flipping to the “Glossary of Usage,” which is an impressive, comprehensive list of words that are commonly confused, misused, or considered nonstandard. The best thing about this book, though, is that while it emphasizes “proper” grammar and “formal” style, it also acknowledges instances in which a writer might wish--or even be advised--to break the rules to make a point.