There is an apparently endless supply of books about writing. Very few of those books, surprisingly, offer a thorough and scholarly approach to the basics: words, sentences, and paragraphs. The New Oxford Guide to Writing does. According to author Thomas S. Kane, writing is "an exercise of mind requiring the mastery of techniques anyone can learn." Kane's not claiming he can create a genius, but, as he says in his introduction, "you don't have to be a genius to write clear, effective English."
The writing that Kane refers to here is expository and persuasive in nature--writing most likely to be required in day-to-day life. In great detail Kane explores the building of an essay, the development of paragraphs, the styling of sentences, the use of diction, and, finally, issues of punctuation. It is unlikely that very many writers have scrutinized the building blocks of language the way Kane has, but it's never too late. Rare is the sourcebook that can offer so much both to beginners and experts alike. And anyone who loves words will thrill to encounter--if he or she hasn't done so already.
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