"They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings (Second Edition) Info

Find the best books In Reference - best sellers and hot new Releases. Check out our top gifted and best rated books this year. Take a look at hundreds of reviews before you download "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings (Second Edition) by Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstein. Read&Download "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings (Second Edition) by Gerald Graff,Cathy Birkenstein Online


The best-selling text/reader on academic
writing.

They Say / I Say demystifies academic
writing by identifying its key rhetorical moves, the most important of
which is to summarize what others have said ("they say") to set up one's
own argument ("I say"). The book also provides templates to help
students make these key moves in their own writing. This version
includes readings that demonstrate those moves―and provide stimulating
conversations for them to enter. The Second Edition includes an
anthology of 44 readings that will provoke students to think―and
write―about five important issues, including two new ones: Is Higher
Education Worth the Price? and Why Does It Matter Who Wins the Big
Game?

Average Ratings and Reviews
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4312 Ratings

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Reviews for "They Say / I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing with Readings (Second Edition):

4

May 24, 2012

Very interesting premise, namely, looking at academic writing as participating in a dialogue. It's a fascinating idea that goes back to at least Greek roots in the Socratic dialogue. (Come to think of it, some Eastern teachers use that technique as well; I'm just not well-versed in non-Western history). I think it's a technique that helps a student place their work in a larger conversation, and elevate an academic essay above the "explanatory" work into a work that defends or promotes a Very interesting premise, namely, looking at academic writing as participating in a dialogue. It's a fascinating idea that goes back to at least Greek roots in the Socratic dialogue. (Come to think of it, some Eastern teachers use that technique as well; I'm just not well-versed in non-Western history). I think it's a technique that helps a student place their work in a larger conversation, and elevate an academic essay above the "explanatory" work into a work that defends or promotes a viewpoint. The writers' mission can be summed up: "Yet despite this growing consensus that writing is a social, conversational act, helping student writers actually participate in these conversations remains a formidable challenge. This book aims to meet that challenge. Its goal is to demystify academic writing by isolating its basic moves, explaining them clearly and representing them in the form of templates."

Broken into four parts, the first part is called, "They Say," and gives students examples of how to take a position, then summarize and quote others in their works. The second section, "I Say," leads the writer how to respond to the "they say" arguments, and how to distinguish one's own position from differing ones. (Incidentally, my professor had us read Martin Luther King's "Letters from a Birmingham Jail" which uses nearly every instance of these techniques, and is a truly impressive essay. For that alone, I'm grateful to her). The third section addresses analysis and conclusions, and shows how to connect the parts, using one's own voice and metacommentary.

The last section addresses writing within specific settings, namely, writing for science, in the social sciences, entering class conversations and deciphering author viewpoints.

Each chapter ends with a few exercises which lead the reader through understanding the technique and how to implement it.

Contains templates to help beginning academic writers formulate ideas, and has a number of specific suggestions throughout to help writers integrate these techniques.

Overall, an interesting read for an academic book. It was required reading for an English Composition class. I wouldn't have mind having run into this in high school or college when I first started academic writing. Four stars for quality of ideas, approachability and useful techniques, if not actual enjoyment. ...more
4

Sep 15, 2009

My writing is often competent, but not as effective as I'd like. I bought this expecting to screen it for use as a corrective to my students. I found it surprisingly useful for myself, although at a fairly detailed level. The most useful thing they say, which I should have known already, but didn't, is that it is critically important to remember that one's academic writing is a contribution to an ongoing discussion that one's reader likely has not been paying close attention to. As such, one My writing is often competent, but not as effective as I'd like. I bought this expecting to screen it for use as a corrective to my students. I found it surprisingly useful for myself, although at a fairly detailed level. The most useful thing they say, which I should have known already, but didn't, is that it is critically important to remember that one's academic writing is a contribution to an ongoing discussion that one's reader likely has not been paying close attention to. As such, one needs to bring the reader up to speed on where the discussion was ("They Say"), to make it clear why one's own contribution makes any sense. Useful. Not genius, but useful

For your amusement: I came across it in Stanley Fish's provocative column on spending an entire semester trying to teach college students how a sentence works.

...more
2

Sep 01, 2015

My two stars are generous. If you need this book's atrocious templates to write a paper, you have some serious literary remediation to do.

The templates, when strung together into a disjointed paragraph of concessions and cliches, make for an amazingly boring and unoriginal essay. Even when incorporated into an otherwise mediocre paper, they stand out as obvious regurgitations of what the writer feels an academic paper "should" say.

Any scholar who pridefully publishes the words "I'm of two My two stars are generous. If you need this book's atrocious templates to write a paper, you have some serious literary remediation to do.

The templates, when strung together into a disjointed paragraph of concessions and cliches, make for an amazingly boring and unoriginal essay. Even when incorporated into an otherwise mediocre paper, they stand out as obvious regurgitations of what the writer feels an academic paper "should" say.

Any scholar who pridefully publishes the words "I'm of two minds about X's claim that______. On the one hand, I agree that _____. On the other hand, I'm not sure if______." in that order will drastically degrade his paper's quality and damage his credibility in the reader's mind.

Forgiving the contractions and weak verbs, because frankly I don't plan on writing an article on this template, this template lacks anything resembling style or interest to the reader.

"I'm of two minds..." Just... no. Orwell would shit his pants reading that (read "Politics and the English Language" if you want realistic and credible writing advice). The writer did absolutely no thinking in composing that phrase.

"One the one hand... on the other hand..." I could accept that in a middle schooler's persuasive paper, though I'd cringe a bit.

"I'm not sure if ____" No, fuck off. You're not sure? That's what you say when the waiter mentions the restaurant's special on fried squid testicles. Give me a clear position and argue it. And stop with the damn contractions.

...more
4

Nov 04, 2015

When students on my campus are flagged for citation troubles and tried for plagiarism, one thing they have to do is come to me for a plagiarism tutorial. Because students accidentally plagiarize (and sometimes not accidentally) for a lot of different reasons, I don't just have a pre-packaged tutorial I send them off to do. I'm finding that most often, students simply are not equipped to write about ideas they have found.

This book attempts to guide students through strategies for handling the When students on my campus are flagged for citation troubles and tried for plagiarism, one thing they have to do is come to me for a plagiarism tutorial. Because students accidentally plagiarize (and sometimes not accidentally) for a lot of different reasons, I don't just have a pre-packaged tutorial I send them off to do. I'm finding that most often, students simply are not equipped to write about ideas they have found.

This book attempts to guide students through strategies for handling the ideas of others (even in the research and notetaking stages) and then how to signal they are using another's ideas in a paper. The authors then move into helping students understand how to write about their own ideas, which is another type of struggle. Entering the scholarly conversation can be terrifying!

The book is most useful in the first half, with lists of ideas, examples of quotations handled properly, demonstrates effective paraphrasing, etc. The second half contains full essays for students to reference, but I feel like unless they are required to interact with them in a class setting, they are unlikely to read those. I'm not sure they need to be in the book. ...more
4

Jun 03, 2019

For a book on academic writing, this was excellent. I wish this kind of thing, however, would be promoted at a much broader level. The principles of this book are not just for writing dissertations, but for having courteous conversations. Your response is only as good as your ability to listen. You can't even disagree (or know to agree) until you understand. Restate what you're hearing until the speaker is satisfied with your level of comprehension. Then, and only then, do you have the For a book on academic writing, this was excellent. I wish this kind of thing, however, would be promoted at a much broader level. The principles of this book are not just for writing dissertations, but for having courteous conversations. Your response is only as good as your ability to listen. You can't even disagree (or know to agree) until you understand. Restate what you're hearing until the speaker is satisfied with your level of comprehension. Then, and only then, do you have the credibility to offer a response. The more intelligent a conversation, the more civil it will be. As one of my professors once said, "Charity precedes critique." This book is a terrific exposition of that idea. ...more
4

Jul 25, 2016

This is a very useful guide that introduces students to the basic concepts of argumentative writing at the college level. Graff and Birkenstein stress that students remember they are not writing in a vacuum but rather to a particular audience as part of a larger ongoing conversation. Some of the templates they provide for students to incorporate into their writing are a little clichéd, sure ("On the one hand... On the other hand"), but they will help students who are only beginning to learn how This is a very useful guide that introduces students to the basic concepts of argumentative writing at the college level. Graff and Birkenstein stress that students remember they are not writing in a vacuum but rather to a particular audience as part of a larger ongoing conversation. Some of the templates they provide for students to incorporate into their writing are a little clichéd, sure ("On the one hand... On the other hand"), but they will help students who are only beginning to learn how to write critically.

(It's not, after all, necessarily an intuitive skill—one of the things that left me confused and anxious as an undergrad was getting back papers with comments that read, in their entirety, "More analysis." Now when I look back at my earliest work, I can see clearly what my professors meant; then, I thought that that was what I was doing and couldn't figure out how to do better.)

Graff and Birkenstein's templates are like training wheels for student writers, helping them to formulate ideas in ways that are new to them and hopefully to be discarded as composition and analytical skills improve. "They Say/I Say" is also a useful book for instructors to read, as it provides several reminders of the kinds of things that may now be second nature to us but which are likely to be stumbling blocks for students. ...more
3

Jan 26, 2019

I was skeptical of the templates and worried that they would limit my students and lead to formulaic writing, but instead they helped students organize their thoughts, express more complex ideas, and frame their arguments as part of a larger conversation. After only a few exercise with the templates, I noticed students incorporating them into their writing on their own and doing so effectively. Although I’m happy with the results, the reason I’m not giving They Say, I Say more stars is firstly I was skeptical of the templates and worried that they would limit my students and lead to formulaic writing, but instead they helped students organize their thoughts, express more complex ideas, and frame their arguments as part of a larger conversation. After only a few exercise with the templates, I noticed students incorporating them into their writing on their own and doing so effectively. Although I’m happy with the results, the reason I’m not giving They Say, I Say more stars is firstly that it would have been better as an article rather than a book and secondly the authors suggest a much more extensive use of templates than I think is helpful for students. I would recommend using this book judiciously as a tool to help students organize their writing, but be careful not to overdo it. I would rather have slightly disorganized writing expressing authentic ideas in students’ individual voices than homogeneous, formulaic essays. ...more
3

Nov 03, 2016

The authors' aim is to help student writers take part in an academic conversation. Their definition of writing well consists of summarising current debate (they say) and setting up one's own arguments (I say). Each chapter provides simple templates to help students make these move in their own writing. For example,
"In discussions of X, one controversial issue has been _____ . One the one hand, ____ aruges ____. On the other hand, ____ contends ____. Others even maintain _____ . My own view is The authors' aim is to help student writers take part in an academic conversation. Their definition of writing well consists of summarising current debate (they say) and setting up one's own arguments (I say). Each chapter provides simple templates to help students make these move in their own writing. For example,
"In discussions of X, one controversial issue has been _____ . One the one hand, ____ aruges ____. On the other hand, ____ contends ____. Others even maintain _____ . My own view is _____."

Part One consists of three chaptres which cover how to describe a viewpoint, how to summarise a discussion, and how to correctly quote others. Part Two contains four chapters, which cover ways to respond to others' work, idetnifying one's own argument, introducing objections, and explaing the importance of a discussion. Part Three covers how to connect arguments seamlessly, writing in an individual voice and a revision chapter. Part Four has specific advice for writers in the arts, sciences, and social scients. There are some weaker chapters on digital communications and verbal discussions.

This is an essential book for 16-18 year olds, and useful for first year undergraduates. Non-native English speakers at postgraduate level will also find this book useful. Teachers can use the exercises at the end of each chapter for class discussions or homework.

The paperback edition loses one star for thin paper and for faint ink, which make the book flimsy and unreadable. Another star was dropped for the patronising writing style. A book that I will probably return to, but not with relish. ...more
2

Oct 23, 2012

I could appreciate this book as a great read for beginning writers, but I firmly believe that writing is learned by practice of creativity, not template. I personally feel that this book was too template-focused and did not emphasize the writers natural flow of words enough.
5

Jul 26, 2014

This is one of the most useful books I've ever encountered if you teach academic writing, reading, or critical thinking.
Some instructors might disagree, but I find the use of templates very helpful for my students. In my opinion, it is not encouraging plagiarism to give the students a template to make it easier for them. (For example, "Author X makes an excellent point that_____, but I would also add_____." They are not native English speakers and it is crucial for them to be given a clear idea This is one of the most useful books I've ever encountered if you teach academic writing, reading, or critical thinking.
Some instructors might disagree, but I find the use of templates very helpful for my students. In my opinion, it is not encouraging plagiarism to give the students a template to make it easier for them. (For example, "Author X makes an excellent point that_____, but I would also add_____." They are not native English speakers and it is crucial for them to be given a clear idea of what is expected. Once they get used to it, they can bend the rules!

The articles at the end of the book are all good reads, in addition to being great examples of academic written discourse. I also respect the authors' position on the use of first person . They say it's acceptable, I more-or-less disagree but that is probably because my students have problems with it which may be particular to their cultural and linguistic background.
Finally, and most important, the author's main point, that writing is a kind of conversation, makes a lot of sense and they really develop this point clearly and effectively. Because of the focus on writing as a dialogue, this book is helpful for discussion and presentation skills as well as writing.
...more
5

Nov 10, 2011

I've taught the shorter, rhetoric-based version of this text before, and now, after having moved away from it to teach other texts that seemed even more "democratic" than this, I'm returning to this text next semester because other texts simply don't inspire students to begin writing with near as much purpose and confidence as this one does. I've ordered my copy of the 2nd edition, actually, which comes out on 15 November 2011. The rhetorical chapters haven't changed;
I'm sure they'll contain I've taught the shorter, rhetoric-based version of this text before, and now, after having moved away from it to teach other texts that seemed even more "democratic" than this, I'm returning to this text next semester because other texts simply don't inspire students to begin writing with near as much purpose and confidence as this one does. I've ordered my copy of the 2nd edition, actually, which comes out on 15 November 2011. The rhetorical chapters haven't changed;
I'm sure they'll contain edits, perhaps a few updated examples, but the "moves," from summarizing to quoting to responding to saying why it matters, haven't been altered. What they've done is added another set of readings to the orginal sets, which dealt, respectively, with fast food, pop culture, economic mobility, and the notion that the American way of life is under assault. Also, they've updated each of these sets by adding several more timely essays, notably essays by Michelle Obama, David Foster Wallace, and Tom Bissell.

...more
3

Sep 03, 2015

We covered Chs. 1-7 in ENG 1304 at Baylor. Some sections are clearly biased towards a politically correct agenda, but often slivers of sanity slip through the cracks. If it weren't for the obviously liberal bias, I'd give it four stars—it's got really excellent advice for writers.
4

Oct 20, 2017

A fantastic, actually helpful resource for academic writers.

It's very liberal/lefty, but that's exposed only in the pieces the authors selected for critique. The writing advice itself is very good.

I read the third edition, from 2016, which contains extra chapters on literature and modern Internet technology. This audiobook version also contained some excerpts at the end from essays and short stories to use for practical exercises.

Leave it to Norton Publishing to create a handy guide like this. A A fantastic, actually helpful resource for academic writers.

It's very liberal/lefty, but that's exposed only in the pieces the authors selected for critique. The writing advice itself is very good.

I read the third edition, from 2016, which contains extra chapters on literature and modern Internet technology. This audiobook version also contained some excerpts at the end from essays and short stories to use for practical exercises.

Leave it to Norton Publishing to create a handy guide like this. A truly great addition to any writer's personal shelf, or in combination with another textbook or text. ...more
2

Nov 28, 2018

The first portion of the book was really interesting! It gave me some good ideas for how to make my writing more interesting and understandable to all readers.
However, the articles or "readings" section was not as interesting or good, in my opinion.
4

Jan 08, 2019

4.5 Real good stuff. Worth reading for anyone. The best "argumentation" teacher/student guide I've come across so far.
5

Oct 16, 2019

2006, Literary crutches aren’t the worst thing: learning to listen and write in the age of LOL


I am so grateful for Gerald’s Graff and Cathy’s Birkenstein effort to lay down the rhetorical steps for dialogical writing. This book has opened my eyes to the countless mistakes I was and still am making. An excellent book!



notes:
-other opinions aside your own should be conveyed correctly and in good faith - this means the onnus is on the writer to listen
-don’t assume the reader knows everything. 2006, Literary crutches aren’t the worst thing: learning to listen and write in the age of LOL


I am so grateful for Gerald’s Graff and Cathy’s Birkenstein effort to lay down the rhetorical steps for dialogical writing. This book has opened my eyes to the countless mistakes I was and still am making. An excellent book!



notes:
-other opinions aside your own should be conveyed correctly and in good faith - this means the onnus is on the writer to listen
-don’t assume the reader knows everything. Explain quotes, add metacommentaries (reformulate your explanation with more clarity, demystify, reinforce the point you were making)
-include as many points of view as it is sensible and and allow them to interact with your original thesis
-”John Stuart Mill pointed up the connection when he observed that we do not understand our own ideas until we know what can be said against them.”(Clueless in Academe)
-plant the seed of doubt
-name the beholder of the opposing view
-there is too much of a thing as contrast
-the world is full of passive receivers of knowledge
-instead of retaliation, argument
-be receptive to other perspectives
-ideas should flow from one paragraph to the other; the argumentation should be easy to follow ...more
4

Oct 16, 2010

This book, given to me by my dear friend Scott who studied under Gerald Graff, singlehandedly improved my essays. It seems weird to have templates for writing essays, but they gave me better ideas about how to enter conversations in my essays and how to move from one paragraph to the next. I had my students read the whole book and then asked them to have 7 out of the 10 elements in their essays. The only things that I've noticed to be confusing for people is their absolute negativity towards This book, given to me by my dear friend Scott who studied under Gerald Graff, singlehandedly improved my essays. It seems weird to have templates for writing essays, but they gave me better ideas about how to enter conversations in my essays and how to move from one paragraph to the next. I had my students read the whole book and then asked them to have 7 out of the 10 elements in their essays. The only things that I've noticed to be confusing for people is their absolute negativity towards using "I" in essays (so I've figured out ways to be personal without using "I" or "me" or whatever else is taboo in a lot of academic writing), and the fact that people don't know how to fit the ten elements neatly into the five-paragraph essay because the book doesn't really go over essay organization.

Don't get me wrong, the five-paragraph essay form has been great in getting a lot of people to learn how to write essays. But somewhere after the first year of writing them, it's time to move on and you just have to see how to really organize essays, five paragraphs or 2,000 paragraphs. So I would at least add to this book my advice that you should write your introduction and your conclusion last. Because you never really know what's going to happen in your writing until you're done. And even when you are writing the introduction and conclusion, sometimes you'll discover something new that needs to be incorporated into the body. So I guess there's one more thing--do NOT ever come up with some new ideas in your conclusion. A conclusion should really be called a "summary" in my opinion.

Wow, can you tell I have a lot of thoughts on this? Email me if you want help with your essay. Ha. ...more
1

Jun 27, 2014

This book was used for my class, The Writing Process. My class was 12 weeks long and having to use this book for 12 long weeks was excruciating. In my opinion, Graff does not give the student enough credit, as this neat little book tries to do all the work for you! Just fill in the blanks. I also thought this book was biased, old fashioned in some of its stories. I saw it as an agenda for a college professor and former MLA President to get colleges to use his book. I think this is a conflict of This book was used for my class, The Writing Process. My class was 12 weeks long and having to use this book for 12 long weeks was excruciating. In my opinion, Graff does not give the student enough credit, as this neat little book tries to do all the work for you! Just fill in the blanks. I also thought this book was biased, old fashioned in some of its stories. I saw it as an agenda for a college professor and former MLA President to get colleges to use his book. I think this is a conflict of interest. He thinks he knows what the American Experience is. He defines street smarts in a unique way, not exactly what I have seen as a definition in my lifetime. He assumes too much for the reader. He should have given us more credit. I have to use this book for my next class also... ...more
3

Jan 26, 2015

3.5 stars.
Assigned textbook for class. This book is made up of about 1/3 teaching material and 2/3 essays, articles, speeches, etc. intended for reading/discussions/class assignments. Overall, I thought it did a pretty good job. The "They Say/I Say" part was clear and easily understood. Good examples were provided. The readings were divided into five main themes, and were pretty interesting. Some were new to me, and some familiar. (Some of the readings seemed a teensy bit dated now, but not too 3.5 stars.
Assigned textbook for class. This book is made up of about 1/3 teaching material and 2/3 essays, articles, speeches, etc. intended for reading/discussions/class assignments. Overall, I thought it did a pretty good job. The "They Say/I Say" part was clear and easily understood. Good examples were provided. The readings were divided into five main themes, and were pretty interesting. Some were new to me, and some familiar. (Some of the readings seemed a teensy bit dated now, but not too bad.)

Thoughts while reading: As far as a textbook goes, this one contains good information in an easy-to-understand and succinct form. However, I sure am noticing a lot of typos, and missing citations and/or attributions. Needs more proofing??? (Authors, get out the red pencil.) ...more
4

Jan 29, 2008

I think I would have hated this book if I were assigned it as a freshman in college. But I was kind of an asshole then, as are most college freshman.

As such, high school seems the better forum to teach a lot of these very basic writing skills. I used this to help me scaffold a persuasive paper I assigned to eleventh graders and they really seemed to appreciate the help. Graff breaks down the elements of good academic persuasive writing into such useful, manageable chunks that it was a breeze to I think I would have hated this book if I were assigned it as a freshman in college. But I was kind of an asshole then, as are most college freshman.

As such, high school seems the better forum to teach a lot of these very basic writing skills. I used this to help me scaffold a persuasive paper I assigned to eleventh graders and they really seemed to appreciate the help. Graff breaks down the elements of good academic persuasive writing into such useful, manageable chunks that it was a breeze to design mini-lessons around them. I never used the text itself with the kids, but it came in really handy in the planning stages. ...more
2

Dec 08, 2008

Informative in terms of getting ideas for pinning down points of view and learning specific terms and phrases for rhetorical modes like comparison/contrast or transitioning between paragraphs, etc--but I'm very wary, very very wary of using templates. Inevitably, templates become too formulaic, and the students end up regurgitating the same terms, phrases, and words without any originality or creativity in wielding our English language.
4

Sep 06, 2012

They Say I Say is one of my favorite composition textbooks. It explains writing in a way that students can understand, and it opens the world of academic discourse to them. The readings in this edition were timely and well-chosen. Over the years that I've used this book, I've become more and more impressed with it.
5

Feb 11, 2018

Clear book that is helpful for anyone writing an academic/argumentative paper. I love the templates-- they are especially helpful when teaching others about writing. I appreciate the chapter on language/voice as well.
5

Jul 18, 2018

They Say/I Say contends that good writing is always dialogic; it is always participating in a conversation. While this may seem like an obvious point, it is not always obvious to college students, who often assume that all a good writer needs to do is present his or her own ideas, full stop. Instead, Graff and Birkenstien argue, responsible scholarship acknowledges ongoing debates and seeks to respectfully participate in them--by agreeing with the views of others, disagreeing, or agreeing and They Say/I Say contends that good writing is always dialogic; it is always participating in a conversation. While this may seem like an obvious point, it is not always obvious to college students, who often assume that all a good writer needs to do is present his or her own ideas, full stop. Instead, Graff and Birkenstien argue, responsible scholarship acknowledges ongoing debates and seeks to respectfully participate in them--by agreeing with the views of others, disagreeing, or agreeing and disagreeing (agreeing to a point).

Subtitled "The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing," They Say/I Say treats the art of writing as almost a game--one that anyone can learn--by including templates that boil the art of academic dialogue down to its simplest components (e.g. "A number of ____ have recently suggested that ____"; "Conventional wisdom has it that _____"; "While I understand the impulse to____, my own view is____" etc.). With these, Graff and Birkenstein give students building blocks to create their own arguments, much in the way that musicians often work with formulaic motives to improvise complex pieces. Far from stifling creativity, then, the authors inspire it. We all learn by imitating, and They Say/I Say contains much good material for imitation.

I look forward to using this book with my students. ...more
0

Jun 18, 2018

It was alright. Most of the points they make are relevant, but for anyone past 9th or 10th grade they made seem a little obvious. Of course, as in all things, I think the value of this book depends on the individual reader's personal knowledge and way of learning. For some, this book could be completely unnecessary. But for others, it could be a life saver. When you get to the bottom of it though, they do make good points, even if they are about more basic, fundamental parts of writing. My only It was alright. Most of the points they make are relevant, but for anyone past 9th or 10th grade they made seem a little obvious. Of course, as in all things, I think the value of this book depends on the individual reader's personal knowledge and way of learning. For some, this book could be completely unnecessary. But for others, it could be a life saver. When you get to the bottom of it though, they do make good points, even if they are about more basic, fundamental parts of writing. My only true critiques would be that it can be a bit repetitive and that for the last two parts of the book the value of each chapter is hit or miss. They seem to stray a bit from the original topic in the last two parts and some of the last chapters are just summaries of the first two parts of the book, but in a slightly different light. So for this book I would for the most part suggest not reading it as a whole. Instead, it would be better to choose one or two of the chapters that focus on one of your weaknesses or a topic of interest to you and read just them. ...more

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