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Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words Paperback – January 17, 1996

26 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0393313260 ISBN-10: 0393313263 Edition: 1st

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Edit Yourself: A Manual for Everyone Who Works with Words + On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction + The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruce Ross-Larson lives in Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (January 17, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393313263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393313260
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 88 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 10, 1997
Format: Paperback
As a professional editor, I rely on many tools. I
consistently return to Ross-Larson's book because it is thorough while being easy to use. I can
find what I want fast. I particularly like his list of word substitutes: after reading "in addition to" and "in view of the fact that" a hundered times, I forget the simple substitutes. Ross-Larson's book consistently brings me out of the engineering woods.
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37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am a professor in a business school. I have recommended this book (and its previous edition) for more than ten years to students who want to improve their writing.
If you want to make your writing clear and concise, you will find it hard to beat this book as a desk reference. It is well organized, easy to use, and concise. The book is itself a great example of good writing.
Do you forget when to use "although" and "while"? Do you forget to avoid using rhetorical questions in your writing? (Oops!) This book has an alphabetically organized list of common errors. You can look under "although" or "while" to find the rules for choosing between these words.
After reading thousands of student papers, correspondence from businesspersons, and memos from faculty, I am convinced that the single thing a writer can do to improve his or her writing is to avoid passive voice. This book has a clear definition of passive voice with examples and guidance on how to avoid falling into this rut. It also points out the few situations in which a writer would want to use passive voice intentionally.
The book is well organized and useful to a wide range of writers. Truly terrible writers will find that the book can help them move their writing up a notch. Mediocre writers can find one or two things in the book that they can change about their writing and become good writers. Good writers will find the book dog-eared in a short time as they look up rules when they know a rule exists but they cannot quite remember what the rule says.
I have worn out two copies of this book. It's great.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Pete Vere on December 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is a handy, concise, and easy-to-use book. In it, Bruce Ross-Larson teaches you how to become a stronger writer. Drawing upon his experience as a professional editor, the author provides a long list of crutch words and phrases, that is, words and phrases that are often overused and that weaken one's writing. He then suggests replacements used by professional writers and journalists. Every aspiring writer should own a copy.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
As a writer I am certainly interested in making my work more clear, concise and correct. Edit Yourself is a useful resource. It's not fun reading. There's no style or humor in this grammar guide whatsoevr but if all you want is a list of rules this book will do it for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Squires on March 12, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book so much I bought another for my managing editor. It's quick, succinct and easy to follow. Particularly useful is the author's list of substitutes for overused words such as "utilize," -- a word I'd never use(shoot me if you see it!), but which a lot of would-be writers do. I bought my copy used and I'm sure I'll be getting a newer copy soon; I'm constantly looking something up. If you edit yourself or other people, "Edit Yourself" belongs on your desk, right next to Strunk and White.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By iceberg on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this book to help me write more effectively in my dissertation, but I think the material would be useful for many different types of writing. The book does an excellent job of providing both general and specific advice on self-editing, with the overall goal of developing a more concise writing style. The suggestions are not simply stated however, and the pages are filled with many examples of how to implement the improvements.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Humberto A. Mancuso Jr. on January 4, 2007
Format: Paperback
This handy, concise manual helps those interested in brushing their writing styles to build reference lists of common proofreading adjustments. First the author covers daily writing problems related to fat, inconsistency and failure to keep parallel grammatical constructions. Then, in part II, he presents an A-Z word and phrase list to cut, change and compare. "Edit Yourself" is a must-have desk companion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David "Not That Davy" Jones on August 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
As a writing coach, I tell my students that they should always get an editor if they can. The next best thing is this great guide to editing your own work.

I was pleasantly surprised to find information I didn't know, but even more pleasantly surprised to find that many of the principles I teach my students are included in this short, simple but incredibly useful guide to editing your own work.

If you have a choice, don't edit yourself. But if you must, buy a copy of Edit Yourself.
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