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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This is a very useful desk reference for new and experienced writers. As described on the back cover "it is a must-own for students, teachers, authors, journalists, bloggers, managers and anyone who doesn't have time to wade through a style guide but needs a friendly desk reference". And, believe it or not, this promotional copy is not hyperbolic: it is real.

I was prepared to not like this book. Yeah, sure, Sandra E. Lamb, you're going to show me how to write in this "complete guide to everything you'll ever write".

Uh, I've been writing for money for more than 50 years: what do I have left to learn?

That turns out to be the wrong question: it's more an issue of what have I forgotten, especially when I'm under deadline pressure to write something I normally don't do, such as a condolence letter.

You see, Ms. Lamb has produced a wonderful style guide, organized by the type of writing involved. The book is laden with checklists, but they are clear, concise and very constructive. The range of possible written communications is surprisingly broad for so (relatively) slim a book. Collection letter? Check. Condolence letter? Check. Letter to the editor? There's guidance for that as well as for the cover letter to your resume and the resume itself.

Essentially, this is a book packed with good - excellent, in fact - advice on writing for various purposes.

I am at amazed at how much detail Lamb has assembled. She lists, for example, 22 different kinds of written communication that might attend the process of a wedding. Really cool stuff throughout, whether it's a wedding or declining a job offer.

For the price, every writer should have a copy of this on their desk - and those who don't write regularly or often might actually want to spend time reviewing every page of the book.

Jerry
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2012
Even though I am an English teacher, I have always wanted a book like this so I can be even better at expressing what I truly feel. I only had the book a week when I received word that my grown god-child had passed. The "dos and don'ts" section was really helpful. I was able to piece together a response that I was proud of. Also, one of my pet peeves is a tooo loooong holiday letter. They advise to keep it short. In my opinion, if it won't fit on one page, it is too long. This book touches on so many items I know it will be a useful reference.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2014
In 1998 I was working as the Director of Communications for a cancer research group in New York City, and I was asked to teach a writing class for a college on Long Island. It seemed like something I ought to be able to do, so I accepted. The class met six Saturdays in a row, and I somehow seemed to connect with students because, I think, I had been a professional writer since the early '80s. But I had one problem. I could not find a textbook I was happy with. Strunk & White is great, but it's also inadequate in many ways.

Then I found "How to Write It" and was able to ask my adult learners not only to buy this book, and I could happily tell them, "Keep it in Your desk drawer. I do."

I also found that I liked teaching so much that I returned to the classroom as a student and acquired a Master's and a Ph.D. Since 2011, I have been teaching Technical Writing at a College of Technology. The textbook we used here was, well, somebody else's book, and it cost $120.

But always in my desk drawer was a copy of "How to Write It." It took me a while to convince the chair of my department but this coming term, Spring 2014, the textbook for my sections of Technical Writing is "How to Write It," with a list price of $18.99. I have already received numerous emails from students who have registered for the course thanking me for finding a reasonably priced textbook. My standard reply is, "Yes, and don't sell it back in May. Keep it in your desk drawer."

This is a terrific book for anyone who wants to write. So buy it. And keep it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2013
I bought this book for a college student, and know she will use it for the rest of her academic, professional and personal life.
This book is a must for anyone wishing to help a young person. Scanning through it makes me wish someone had given me a copy when I was young.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2013
Very good resource to have in the office, at home or at school. It can help in any situation to write any letter you need.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2013
This book will serve as a good reference when writing any type of correspondence. The book provides information for social writings to job resume information.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2014
What a great reference guide to keep in my office. We refer to it whenever we undertake writing a different kind of letter or document.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2014
He who wants to write well, should purchase this book. Everything you need is at the turn of a page. I loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2013
the book is very big. and such a low price! so you won't regret to take one except the big store room it takes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 31, 2012
I have used this to supplement a business-writing course. Its price was its highest recommendation. I also appreciated the examples. It could be more detailed; most explanations are in list format. The author has very strong opinions on various topics, and most people would probably not agree with her on handwriting notes. Nevertheless, it's quite comprehensive for a book that it quite inexpensive and doesn't claim to be an actual textbook on writing.
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