On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Rating: 
Amazon Price: $15.99 $10.62 You save: $5.37 (34%). (as of November 1, 2017 3:30 AM – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

On Writing Well has been praised for its sound advice, its clarity and the warmth of its style. It is a book for everybody who wants to learn how to write or who needs to do some writing to get through the day, as almost everybody does in the age of e-mail and the Internet.

Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sold, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers.

Product Details

  • Series: On Writing Well
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; 30 Anv Rep edition (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060891548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060891541
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces

Customer Reviews

In response to the criticism that Zinsser "generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous"

550 people found this helpful.
 on April 22, 2012
By A fellow with a keyboard
The most damaging (but fair) criticism I’ve heard of this book came from reviewer D. Fineman who said, “He generalizes egregiously about topics that are enormous. … He feels free to judge — for instance scientists — outside his field.”

I became a better writer because of this book.

76 people found this helpful.
 on January 3, 2015
By Jeff Wignall
This book is one of the finest books ever written on the subject of nonfiction writing. I’ve written about 30 books that have sold more than five million copies and I can tell you that those books would never have been written, or written as well, had I not stumbled upon this book some 20 years ago.

There’s a Reason Why Over a Million Copies of This Book Have Been Sold.

2 people found this helpful.
 on September 15, 2014
By Buck Dopp
Saying something people will want to read was the purpose of the book and Zinsser achieved that goal. He practices what he preaches. There is a lot of great information packed into “On Writing Well” that is clearly explained making it easy to understand and retain.

good for scientific writing too

4 people found this helpful.
 on December 22, 2014
By Kun H
This is such a great book — I guess there’s no need for me to repeat that given all the other reviews, but I’m going to offer my own perspective as a science/engineering grad student.

Best book about writing I ever read

 on March 2, 2017
By ProfRice
I love this book. I will try to write this review in a way that would please Zinsser. Don’t you hate a poorly written email? You send an email to someone with a couple questions and you get back the answer to just one. And sometimes you don’t even know what they said. So you have to send another and you ask as pointedly and simply as possible. Just a few words. Good writers suffer bad communicators who use not only too many adjectives but any adjectives! Zinsser cuts writing down to the bone and instead of being harsh, it is clear.

Classic !

4 people found this helpful.
 on February 2, 2016
By Tony Rogers Jr
I’ve read many books on writing and publishing. This book is by far the most practical, easy to understand and surprisingly entertaining to read. If I was asked to choose one book that would help someone become a better writer it would be this one.

a great guide for anyone who wants to improve his writing

One person found this helpful.
 on January 14, 2017
By NAGATA
I came to know this book when I was reading Paul Silvia’s book. Dr. Silvia is the author of the popular book: “How to Write a Lot”.

Just buy this book. Do it.

One person found this helpful.
 on January 26, 2016
By A. Trani
I am a graduate student and a pretty good writer before reading this book. After reading this book, I feel much more confident with my writing style. Additionally, this book is crammed with helpful hints and tips that I wish I had known in my early undergraduate career. Zinsser’s advice is useful for writers of any genre and essential for writers of nonfiction.

Everything is here

3 people found this helpful.
 on June 20, 2015
By Lyn Alexander
On Writing Well is a classic that has been re-published and upgraded since, I believe, the 1960s or 70s, and has never been out of print over the years. It was the first book I ever read about the craft of writing, and I believe it has been the most influential book of many that I have read. This edition has been brought up to date, with a lot of new material added since the first.

A writing class in a book!

2 people found this helpful.
 on September 25, 2015
By C. Seubert
For someone who isn’t a professional writer, has never taken a writing class, but needs to write for his profession, this book was a welcome read. I’m sure I’m breaking many of the writing rules that were discussed in the book right here in my review. But, the wonderful thing about this book is the author provides both specifics and an overall philosophy on how to approach and improve one’s writing. The author provides examples of bad writing and how to fix it. He also provides specifics for those writing about people, places, science and technology, etc. I highly recommend it for anyone that wants to improve their writing.

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