Wise-Women List Archive File
Improving One's Writing Skills
I am interested in improving my writing skills. Do any of you have
recommendations for books to read or web sites to visit?
I'm new to this list, but I thought I might be able to help you -- the best
training I found for writing was journalism training, and
journalism-focused writing books. After a firm basis in that, public
relations, marketing/advertising, and business writing are very useful forms
of writing, especially for most web site writing. So, if possible, see if
you can take some journalism courses at a local college, or through an
online reputable university (The New School has some good online writing
courses: http://www.dialnsa.edu/ ),
and here are some books that I've found useful:
The Write Way, by Richard Lederer and Richard Dowis
Words' Worth, by Terri Brooks
The Word, by Rene J. Cappon
The Elements of Style, by Strunk and White
Also, like design, one of the best ways to learn about writing is to expose
yourself to some good examples of it, and try to figure out what makes them
good. And of course, practice - write every day, even if only a little bit.
My recommendation would be to read whatever helps you to fall in love with
I have a load of fun reading word skills books. Also, find someone who's a
better writer and work with that person. It's like tennis---you improve if
you write with someone who makes you work...or play, depending on your
There are great books out there. Writers are very fortunate in that, unlike
philosophers, for example, they generally have to be pretty good writers to
write about writing well.
Start with Strunk and White. Then read some of White's essays. They're
elegant! They're intelligent! Discover what you love, and then try to decide
If you are talking about writing for the web, then I suggest you read the
book we are using for one of our texts. It is "Writing for the Web"
(Geeks Edition). It is not very long, but it addresses several issues in
web writing as well as offering a list of commonly misspelled/misused
words, etc. The author is Crawford Kilian. If you need other books on
writing, I can get you a list....just finished up a degree in Professional
Writing! If you are interested, I can send you (off list) a list of
resources I compiled when I had a tech writing class a few
semesters ago. Let me know.