Line by Line: How to Improve Your Own Writing After earning her M.A. in English literature, Claire Kehrwald Cook taught English Composition fro three years. Today’s Useful Resource is Claire Kehrwald Cook’s Line by Line. This book about editing is aimed, not at editors, but at authors who want to. \4*t ‘ HOW TO EDIT YOUR OWN WRITING Claire Kehrwald Cook Houghton Mifflin Company • Boston. PE Claire Kehrwald. Modern Language Association.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The essential guide for all writers.

Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing by Claire Kehrwald Cook | pagesofjulia

With over ocok of original and edited sentences, this book provides information about editing techniques, grammar, and usage for every writer from the student to the published author. Paperbackpages. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company first published September 11th To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Line by Lineplease sign up. Lists with This Book.

Oct 13, Meg rated it liked it Shelves: Useful examples and very comprehensive I appreciated the level of detail, but I couldn’t read more than one or two sections at a time before feeling overwhelmed.

Still, it’s practical and has plenty of tips on how to make your kehrwale easier to understand. Consider using it as a tip of vy day book that you jump into every morning, though. It’s certainly not something you can read cover to cover in a sitting.

Feb 24, Timons Esaias rated it really liked it. Line by Line is one of the classics, and it’s something one should read through every four or five years. I say clairre having only poked around in it, previously.

Reading: Claire Kehrwald Cook’s Line by Line — Heath Sledge

This is my first time going cover to cover. It addresses the very basics of effective rhetoric at the word and sentence level alas, it does not rise to the paragraph: There are two vital appendices, which go beyond dictionaries, but which take up less space than full grammars or usage manuals: What I admire about this book is that it is based in the practical work of copyediting, and the actual problems that come up.

It talks about the debates among experts, and historical trends, and about context. Cook is not too quick to insist on a rule, but isn’t afraid to point out that it’s better to be safe than shame-faced.

Neither a rules-Nazi nor a linguistic anarchist, she. The book can be dry, but it’s darned efficient. I wouldn’t advise reading more than one chapter at a time, kehfwald. The brain needs rest. The reason I’m only giving this four stars has nothing to do with initial quality, but with the passage of time. This book is 32 years old, at this writing, and usage, especially, is a moving target.


Eighteen years after this book, we finally got a reliable American usage manual, Dlaire, and despite its historical gems, Americans should put their Fowler’ses aside. Which means, I think, that it’s time for a Line by Line update. Oct 30, Jay Cruz rated it it was ok Shelves: For a book on editing your own writing, I found it a very difficult read. It can be a useful reference -it has more than enough examples- but its dense pace, again, for a book about editing, is inexcusable.

Here’s one example so you can see cok I mean: Each can operate alone. In particular, you can use not only without necessarily going on t For a book on editing your own writing, I found it a very difficult read. In particular, you can use not only without necessarily oehrwald on to but also or but.

Not only always promises more to come, but the rules of rhetoric allow alternative ways of keeping that promise” If those words weren’t in italic the paragraph would be incomprehensible, but the book is filled with back to back paragraphs like these.

It really was yb drag to go through.

Oct 21, Stacy-Ann rated it it was amazing Shelves: This book is really great and I kehrwxld still continue to take my time reading it. Aug 22, Michael Feehly rated it really liked it. Very clear and unobjectionable advice for writers. The instruction is clear, based on examples; the prose is lucid, cleanly polished. However, page after page of perfect and perfectly unremarkable prose can put one to sleep.

This isn’t so much a problem, except when the examples of good and bad sentences are reversed. I found myself re-reading several negative kehrwld because I was perplexed—how can this be right? It turns out it wasn’t right; I had been dozing off, reading without ckok Very clear and unobjectionable advice for writers. It turns out it wasn’t right; I had been dozing off, reading without challenging the order of bad example, good example.

I agree with the author in her introduction that the way to read this book is to skip to the appendices and read then, and then return to the main text and begin. Appendix A is an English grammar for dummies that doesn’t dumb itself down. Appendix B is a gem: The main text covers errors in wordiness, word order, parallelism, agreement between pronouns and antecedents, and punctuation.

So—jargon, dangling modifiers, commas, non restrictive clauses, double genitives, and semicolons. I give this four stars instead of five. Because I had kehfwald this to be an holistic guide to editing one’s writing, I am disappointed kehtwald this a primer on how to copy-edit one’s writing.

There is no advice on drafting, organizing, revising, etc. This, plainly and simply, is a guide to kehrwlad by lihe textual revision at the sentence level without regard for content.

Nov 24, Jb rated it really liked it Shelves: The topic is dry and so are some passages of this book.


But the benefits are immense for a non-native speaker like myself. The most important lesson is: Be careful and review a lot.

Chapter on punctuation is hard to read but very valuable nonetheless. First time being told the exact rules governing those pesky semicolons and dashes. May 27, Jeffrey Fisher rated it really liked it. Valuable but dry at times, as to be expected. May 08, Krystol rated it really liked it. I thought this book was really good. It was easy to understand and I was able to see my own mistakes with writing.

I would recommend this book to all writers and college students. Jul 21, Who Watches rated it it was amazing. Here comes the contrarian review: The only stipulation, which others have rightly pointed out, is that this book is often tough going. The negative reviews are understandable given the difficulty of this “introductory” book, but so long as you have a modicum of grammatical competence, you’ll discover Cook’s advice to be of greater depth than that found in most other style books.

Simply put, this book gets str Here comes the contrarian review: Simply put, this book gets straight to the point and makes no concessions to those uninitiated in, at the very least, high school level grammar. If you’ve forgotten said grammar or if you want a more accessible but less technical analysis of style, then stick with Joseph M. Williams’s book, equally excellent and more widely used than Cook’s. If, however, you can handle the constant parsing of sentences, then you might find Line By Line to be well worth a look.

Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing

The appendix on usage is also very useful. Jul 19, Gerard Wilson cok it it was amazing Shelves: If you think you write well as I did I strongly recommend reading this book. I have a number of helpful books on the creative and technical aspects of writing prose, but Claire Kkehrwald Cook’s book is by far and away the most helpful I have read.

Where other books help in curbing the tendency to overwrite, this book puts a scalpel in the writer’s hand that enables him to explore and cut deeply. You will be surprised how much the resulting excisions and rearrangements improve your writing.

I fo If you think you write well as I did I strongly recommend reading this book. I found the chapters ‘Faulty Connections’ and ‘Il-matched Partners’ the most helpful. Without doubt this book has jehrwald my writing. It will continue to do so as I regularly return to it. Apr 06, Quiver rated it really liked it Shelves: A good guide to fixing syntactical issues in prose.

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