When Good People Write Bad Sentences 12 Steps to Better Writing Habits

Robert W. Harris

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

224 Pages



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Do you get a lift by dangling a participle? Has your punctuation ever caused difficulties at home or at work? Do you consider yourself just a "social misspeller"?

These are just a few of the warning signs that you might have an addition to bad writing. But fear not. This practical guide to eliminating bad writing habits will put you on the path to recovery. Filled with accessible advice and examples, this "powerful twelve-step program" identifies the most common writing mistakes and offers simple ways to correct them. Here, you can learn to overcome wordiness, formality, incompleteness, and other problems that stand in the way of clear communication. And as you learn to eliminate ineffective sentences, you'll be "writing off" jargon, mixed metaphors, clichés, and more.

The advice in this ingenious and useful book has helped Tom G., Martha D., and Cathy W.* write more clearly, confidently, and persuasively. It can do the same for you—whether you write for school, work, or pleasure. If you've tried other programs, only to fall back on bad habits, let Standard English be your guide. This book will show you how.

*Their real names.


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  • Robert W. Harris

  • Robert W. Harris has worked as a technical and business writer for the past twenty years. He is the author of ten books, including Fun with Phone Solicitors and Understanding Desktop Publishing.