- Paperback: 275 pages
- Publisher: INDI Best, INDI Publishing Group; 1 edition (February 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0978924754
- ISBN-13: 978-0978924751
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,571,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Gettysburg Approach to Writing & Speaking Like a Professional 1st Edition
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About the Author
Philip A. Yaffe is an author, former feature writer with the Wall Street Journal and a marketing communication consultant. Born in Boston he teaches writing and public speaking in Brussels, Belgium where he has lived for more than thrity years.
Top customer reviews
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If you are in college, particularly graduate school, this book will be extraordinarily helpful to you. The focus on the book is expository writing, so for creative writing purposes, this tool may not be as important to you, but if you ever plan on writing an academic paper, or a professional report, this book is a must have for your library.
Philip Yaffe very clearly outlines, in simple terms, the real rules to professional writing. A lot of these rules were familiar to me from my past academic pursuits, but I still was able to learn a lot from the book. I think this would actually make a wonderful textbook for a writing course at the college level. I believe if more students had textbooks like this one, there would be far more success in academia today. I particularly liked the plethora of examples for the different rules. There are over 100 pages of appendices just full of examples and exercises.
This is not the type of book you are likely to sit down and read cover to cover like I did, unless you have a real passion for grammar and professional writing. That being said, like any mental health student has a copy of the APA guide book and the DSM on their bookshelves, so too should every college student and writer of professional materials have The Gettysburg Approach on their shelves.
I highly recommend this book to any serious scholar, regardless of subject matter, because its usefulness will know no bounds when you sit to do professional writing.
Will my thoughts be judged more on style and presentation points than on content? Will my average sentence length come close to the suggested 20-word standard? Will I use too many prepositions per sentence or use the passive voice too often? Will I allow long introductory clauses to overwhelm the main thoughts of my individual sentences? Will I be able to avoid my bad habit of using "weasel words," words so vague the reader can interpret them in countless shades of gray? You get the idea. Or have I already bored you to the point of abandoning the review for good?
Using Lincoln's The Gettysburg Address as his inspirational model, Philip Yaffe offers a concise instructional manual for those desiring to improve the effectiveness of their writing. The book will appeal to those who enjoy writing already, as well as to those who write only when they absolutely must. Yaffe clearly admires how at Gettysburg, in only 272 words, Lincoln "says more than most people could say in several thousand." Based upon that model, Yaffe divides his book into two short theoretical segments: 55 pages on writing fundamentals and 43 pages on public speaking. He follows those sections with a series of appendices (A through M) that reinforce, through examples and exercises, the points he makes in the book's theoretical sections.
Much of what Yaffe says about writing and speaking skills is common sense and will already be second nature to some readers. But just as good writing habits become second nature with repetition, the same is true for bad ones; after a while, they will feel as correct to the writer's "ear" as the real thing. The appendix exercises address this problem by providing poorly written pieces that are to be edited and rewritten in the author's suggested style. These exercises are, in fact, where most of the book's real teaching occurs.
"The Gettysburg Approach" is written in an informal, anecdotal style that distinguishes it from most other writing manuals. It is fun to read and so concisely written that it is probably the only such manual I have read from cover-to-cover. That I expect to revisit its pages on a regular basis until I can assimilate all its tips and suggestions suggests to me that the book is also an excellent choice for new high school and college students.
Rated at: 5.0