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Thursday, March 18, 2010

If you're serious about improving your writing skills...

...here's a book which will be a big help: The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and E.B. White (it's available on Flipkart).

Read here what Stephen King has to say about The Elements of Style.

And King himself has written a book, On Writing, which is invaluable for both fiction and non-fiction writers; read the review by Your Opinion co-editor Padmini Nandy Mazumder, who also tells us, bottom, why spending Rs.499 on The Elements of Style is "well worth it":

PADMINI NANDY MAZUMDER'S REVIEW OF STEPHEN KING'S CLASSIC.

Another book you must read if you want to be a better writer: On Writing Well (25th Anniversary: The Classic Guide To Writing Nonfiction), by William Zinsser. To know more about Zinsser and his masterpiece, click on this link: "Lord of the Language".

Start familiarising yourself with the contents of these books right away. You may not understand everything now, but continual reading will be a big help.

And here's one more really good book: Pocket Writer's Handbook, from the Penguin Reference Library. I bought this in Bangalore for Rs.195. It has a lot of sensible grammar advice, too.

As for dictionaries, I recommend that each of you buy a copy of what is referred to as an "advanced learners' dictionary" because this dictionary not only gives word definitions but also tells you how to use these words in a sentence. At Commits, we use the Macmillan English Dictionary For Advanced Learners (International Student Edition).

  • Padmini Nandy Mazumder (Class of 2011) commented via e-mail regarding her purchase of The Elements of Style: You were right, Sir, thank you for the recommendation. The Elements Of Style is really worth every single rupee. I bought it today [August 29, 2009]. And I'm glad I didn't procrastinate about it. Spending Rs.499 was well worth it because this "little book" has completely changed "English" for me.
(Padmini is now the editor of Books & More, a literary magazine published from Bangalore.)

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