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On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 2 set 2006

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Descrizione prodotto


William Zinsser is a writer, editor and teacher. He began his career on the New York Herald Tribune and has since written regularly for leading magazines. During the 1970s he was master of Branford College at Yale. His 17 books, ranging from baseball to music to American travel, include the influential Writing to Learn and Writing About Your Life. He teaches at the New School in New York.

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Dettagli prodotto

  • Copertina flessibile: 321 pagine
  • Editore: Perennial; 30 Anv Rep edizione (2 settembre 2006)
  • Collana: On Writing Well
  • Lingua: Inglese
  • ISBN-10: 0060891548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060891541
  • Peso di spedizione: 181 g
  • Media recensioni: 5.0 su 5 stelle  Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
  • Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon: n. 15.329 in Libri in altre lingue (Visualizza i Top 100 nella categoria Libri in altre lingue)
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Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
Libro fantastico, scritto benissimo, zeppo di consigli e modi per migliorare, punto di partenza essenziale per chiunque voglia (o debba) scrivere in inglese. Consigliato.
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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) 4.7 su 5 stelle 722 recensioni
556 di 569 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle In response to the criticism that Zinsser "generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous" 23 aprile 2012
Di A fellow with a keyboard - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
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."

I agree that Zinsser does these things, but I disagree that it is a problem. In fact, if I have one criticism of the book it is exactly the opposite: that the lessons are even more generalizable and broadly applicable than Zinsser gives them credit for. For instance, if you skip the travel writing chapter, or if you read it thinking that it only applies to travel writing, then you will miss two golden and persuasive arguments that ought to apply to *any* writer:

1) The things that come to the writer easiest -- cliché, excessive detail, syrupy and vague language -- are the things that keep the reader bored/detached/passive.

2) Your main task as a writer is to distill the essence of whatever you're writing about--to find its central idea, to describe its distinctive qualities using precise images. In other words, your main task is to work excruciatingly hard.

The goal of any writer (yes, any) ought to be to transform the reader from a passive observer into an ally. It's excruciatingly hard to do, but once you realize that that's the goal, and once you realize that the parts that come easiest are what's getting in the way of that goal, then you can start writing well.

Zinsser knows these things, and he articulates them beautifully. It is one of the most persuasive books I have read, on any subject. But I hate that the lessons are hidden within topic-specific chapters. Please read with that in mind.
81 di 84 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle I became a better writer because of this book. 3 gennaio 2015
Di Jeff Wignall - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile
This book is one of the finest books ever written on the subject of nonfiction writing. I've written about 30 books that have sold more than five million copies and I can tell you that those books would never have been written, or written as well, had I not stumbled upon this book some 20 years ago.

From this book I learned the value of brevity. I learned the value of simplicity. And more than anything else, I learned to trust myself and the concept that, in the end, people don't love a book because they are in love with the subject, they love a book (and stick with it regardless of topic) because they like the author. I also learned, very importantly, that your teachers were all wrong when they told you not to write in the first person: Mr. Zinsser convinced me that writing in the first person is the best--often the only--way to write.

If you don't trust yourself and don't trust your ideas, why on Earth are you writing anything?

I also learned from this book that humor and surprise are necessary elements of most nonfiction writing.

Be yourself, talk directly to the reader, be funny, be human, be a tiny bit clever--and you may even surprise yourself with what a good writer you are. Trust yourself, and trust simplicity.
8 di 8 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Classic ! 3 febbraio 2016
Di Tony Rogers Jr - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I've read many books on writing and publishing. This book is by far the most practical, easy to understand and surprisingly entertaining to read. If I was asked to choose one book that would help someone become a better writer it would be this one.
One thing I'll add is to read it more than once, if you're like me, you'll miss many of the nuggets the first time around. I've been through it three times now and continue to find more gems of wisdom.
8 di 8 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle good for scientific writing too 22 dicembre 2014
Di Kun H - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This is such a great book -- I guess there's no need for me to repeat that given all the other reviews, but I'm going to offer my own perspective as a science/engineering grad student.

I'd say that this book is very helpful for scientific writing, and it certainly did help me. Writing research papers, after all, is just another form of nonfiction writing, but it might be the form that needs clarity the most. I've seen too many examples of research papers getting rejected because of poor writing, or published papers/books getting negative reviews because no one can figure out what's going on, but reading this book made me start to realize what went wrong for those papers/books and how they could be rescued. A lot of the principles talked about in this book are just upright common sense, but the author did a great job explaining why those often matter much more than an average writer would expect. IMHO, many of the principles basically boil down to "think and care for the reader" when writing, but that's exactly the challenge, especially in scientific/research writing where the reader usually has no idea at all what's going to be introduced since it's "novel". With his rich experience, the author was able to make really convincing arguments for the principles he advocated, and his strong enthusiasm made this book a truly enjoyable read.
2 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Stands the test of time. Essential for every writer. 23 marzo 2017
Di sqwirk - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
I have so many sticky flags in so many places in this book. I can't believe it took me so long to purchase it! I should have read this years ago! Great advice and to-the-point dictation of how to write well. It sounds as though Zinsser is speaking directly to you. Some of the sections (such as sports writing) didn't apply to me, but I read them anyway. There are some nuggets of helpful information in each section even if that section isn't the kind of writing you find yourself doing. Nonfiction is nonfiction, you can apply rules to other areas. This is essential for every writer, from the casual blogger to the journalist to the biographer.