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120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars User-friendly, witty, humorous, and practical little book.
I use Gary Provost's 100 WAYS as the textbook in my Internet writing course (Personal Writing) for Lansing Community College. Students tell me, and I agree, that the organization of the book, its conversational tone, its concrete examples, and its unintimidating size and appearance are all features that make it a book they LOVE to read and will keep. It doesn't feel,...
Published on January 2, 1999

versus
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad little exercise book
This is a good little exercise book for anyone who is looking for a way to flex the writing muscles. There are, unfortunately, not as many examples of good writing as I would have liked.
Published on January 13, 2009 by Charles A. Ray


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptionally comprehensive and useful for every writer, May 21, 2009
This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first time I am writing review for any book, because I could not help not expressing my heart-felt admiration for this great book by Gary Provost. I have read just half of this book so far and learnt so many things that I ordered 4 more copies to gift to my friends. Very apt examples have been given at every place to elucidate the writing rules. Consider this one: "Put Emphatic Words at the End". Because whatever is put at the end becomes more important to the reader. The example he gave is so beautiful: Compare between "Ask what you can do for America, not what America can do for you." & "Ask not what America can do for you, ask what you can do for America." and you can't stop yourself from getting fully convinced with the importance of this rule. The rules have not been set in the stone - wherever there was scope for alternate style or tweaking the rule in some context, the author aptly explained it. Overall, this is a book which everyone willing to improve his/her writing should buy and read at least 2 times - this advice is for both amateur as well as professional writers.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a bad little exercise book, January 13, 2009
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This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a good little exercise book for anyone who is looking for a way to flex the writing muscles. There are, unfortunately, not as many examples of good writing as I would have liked.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Recommend Buying Something Else, November 5, 2011
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This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
To be honest, I found this book disappointing in many ways. I recommend to those that view this comment, look for a different book on improving your writing abilities because this book doesn't help. I hope the viewers review the negative comments as well as the positive comments before making a purchase because the positive comments on this book are over exaggerated. Overall its not a complete useless book, as it does give some helpful tips, but many of the tips listed aren't really helpful. Chapter 1 basically says, build your vocabulary, get reference books, improve spelling, read, take a class, research, and the one I hate the most, "Eavesdrop". Its not until chapter 3 that i find this book the slight bit of help, which talks about writing a strong lead. I really recommend buying a different book, and make sure the book you buy actually states helpful ways on improving your writing, and doesn't state obvious ways such as this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Plentiful New Ideas in this Compact Volume, December 22, 2004
This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
I am always pleased to find new ideas to compliment my writing. I am a forever student, knowing I can always improve on my craft - this book delivers in some surprising ways.

As I was reading along I thought to myself, "What if a committed writer took each technique and spread it over one day at a time?" I realized any writer would see a dramatic increase in writing effectiveness.

I especially enjoyed the section on Making Yourself a LIKEABLE writer. I had never considered that before - although in some writers tone and style I don't like them at all. Its companion section "12 Ways to Avoid Making Your Reader Hate You" is equally excellent and includes such tips as avoid jargon, clichés, parenthesis - which Provost's distinction of parathesis "annoying interruption" will stick with me forever.

Also included is a helpful and simple grammar/punctuation primer.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous work, November 28, 1999
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This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
Briefly put: Provost's 100 Ways To Improve Your Writing is meat and potatoes for novice and experienced writer alike. I didn't have it by my side when I wrote my first book, but have it now and use it often.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Simplistic, June 6, 2009
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This might be useful for someone who has very little experience in writing and needs to be spoon-fed some basics. It is not at all useful to someone who has even a moderate level of writing experience. If it wasn't a Kindle version, my copy would be going to the Salvation Army with my next donation.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good basic writing guide, September 3, 2010
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This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
While neither as thorough as Strunk & White nor as inspiring as many of the good writing books, this is still a handy box of tools ideal for thumbing through and picking up reminders to improve your writing (and reminding you of all the bad writing techniques in this very sentence). Like many books of this type, the author can't help citing examples of his own work. Buy it, keep it by your desk or commode, for finding nuggets to help send you on your writing way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Book. Big Impact., April 18, 2009
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This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
This little book is a treasure--just enough information to be effective. It's a quick and sometimes whimsical approach to an otherwise dry subject. The book was published before the Internet became the primary method for research, so you will have to ignore his emphasis on the library as the primary tool for finding facts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny typewriter references, but still awesome, April 14, 2011
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Rocco Wake (Fountain Valley, CA) - See all my reviews
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Having been a blog author for a while and just finishing up my first full book, I decided to find something that would improve my writing ability and fast. This book was exactly what I needed to get a running start.

Yes, there are some references to using a typewriter and calling your local librarian to do research, but it's easy to put the same suggestions to use with modern technology. Get past the words and accept the advice.

About half of the tips seemed completely obvious as I read them, but were things I never thought of applying. There is no doubt in my mind that you will come across at least two or three tips that completely change how you write and improve the quality of your writing significantly. The others will improve your skills marginally.

Even great writers will find something in this book to help them out or at least understand why following a certain method or pattern improves their writing. Sometimes the awareness is all you really need and that's what this book provides in droves. If not one of the tips in this book helps you, there are other issues at hand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Helpful Collection of Tips, September 15, 2010
This review is from: 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a small handbook that isn't meant to be a full-fledged text on grammar or style, but simply a good collection of tips, and throughout it all you'll find Provost's characteristic clarity and wit.

Each section is short and gets straight to the point. Provost can take something like "Show, Don't Tell," and explain it better in a page and a half than other books can in a chapter.

There's plenty of examples of each tip in use, and even in his writing itself he'll show you the difference, as this bit on sentence length: "Listen to what is happening. The writing is getting boring. The sound of it drones. It's like a stuck record. The ear demands some variety. Now listen. I vary the sentence length, and I create music. Music. The writing sings. It has a pleasant rhythm, a lilt, a harmony."

He also has a refreshing and practical view on grammar: "Never choose good grammar over good writing. There is nothing virtuous about good grammar that does not work."

The book gives examples from everything from Hemingway, The Stepford Wives, and The Boston Globe, and while Provost's tips focus mostly on non-fiction, they can just as easily be applied to fiction. Also, while the book is from 1981, it's not dated except in the mention of typewriters.

In Provost's own words, this book is "about what writing techniques work best, which patterns of language most successfully reach and hold readers." And that's just you'll find.
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100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series)
100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Mentor Series) by Gary Provost (Mass Market Paperback - October 1, 1985)
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