The Writer's Diet: A Guide to Fit Prose

University of Chicago Press
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Do your sentences sag? Could your paragraphs use a pick-me-up? If so, The Writer’s Diet is for you! It’s a short, sharp introduction to great writing that will help you energize your prose and boost your verbal fitness.

Helen Sword dispenses with excessive explanations and overwrought analysis. Instead, she offers an easy-to-follow set of writing principles: use active verbs whenever possible; favor concrete language over vague abstractions; avoid long strings of prepositional phrases; employ adjectives and adverbs only when they contribute something new to the meaning of a sentence; and reduce your dependence on four pernicious “waste words”: it, this, that, and there.

Sword then shows the rules in action through examples from William Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Martin Luther King Jr., John McPhee, A. S. Byatt, Richard Dawkins, Alison Gopnik, and many more. A writing fitness test encourages you to assess your own writing and get immediate advice on addressing problem areas. While The Writer’s Diet is as sleek and concise as the writing ideals contained within, this slim volume packs a powerful punch.

With Sword’s coaching writers of all levels can strengthen and tone their sentences with the stroke of a pen or the click of a mouse. As with any fitness routine, adhering to the rules requires energy and vigilance. The results, however, will speak for themselves.
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About the author

Helen Sword is professor and director of the Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education at the University of Auckland. She is the author, most recently, of Stylish Academic Writing and manages the website www.writersdiet.com.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
May 2, 2016
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Pages
96
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ISBN
9780226352039
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Authorship
Language Arts & Disciplines / Composition & Creative Writing
Reference / General
Reference / Writing Skills
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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