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Thread: Good books

  1. #1

    Default Good books

    Hello all,

    I am wondering if I could get some opinions out of you all. I am looking to read some books about advance academic writing techniques. If anyone has a book that they could recommend that they have read that would be super!

    Also

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book to read about speaking well I would like to hear your suggestions as well.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    Default

    Ummm. If you want to learn how to speak well, watch old videos of Hitler and Winston Churchill. They were some of the greatest orators of the 20th century. As for books.... I got nothing.

  3. #3

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by diaperedteenager View Post
    Hello all,

    I am wondering if I could get some opinions out of you all. I am looking to read some books about advance academic writing techniques. If anyone has a book that they could recommend that they have read that would be super!

    Also

    If anyone has a suggestion for a book to read about speaking well I would like to hear your suggestions as well.

    Thanks!
    There are really two ways you can approach this. The first, which I dislike, is a book on how to write. I'm an amateur author (science fiction), so I have books on such issue as character development, building a universe, integrating dialog with description with exposition, etc. So I have books from that standpoint. But I dislike it in terms of non-fiction writing (which I assume you're doing).

    What I do like is to not use a book that tells you how to write, but one which is written in the way that you want to write. Read a chapter. Then re-read a section. Then a sub-section. Then a paragraph. See how they develop it, how they word things, how the flow works. Meanwhile, write something non-fiction. Anything. Just choose a non-fiction topic you know something about. Then let it sit for a few days. Don't proofread it, don't look at it, don't think about it. After 2 days or so, read it straight through. By now, it won't "feel" like something you wrote because it isn't fresh. And then re-read a similarly-sized section in the book you're emulating*. Revise your work so it sounds more technical and more like the book you're working from. Let it sit a few days again. Repeat process.

    *Make sure the book you're emulating is a different topic, or you'll end up comparing content. If you're writing about the process of thermal overturning in a lake in winter, then use as your reference text a book on, IDK, the structure of the atom.

    I do suggest having some books as references. Get a book on APA Style. I use this one (Amazon.com: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (9781557987907): American Psychological Society: Books). It tells you how to properly cite articles, yes, but it explains a lot of more things too: how to numerate pages properly, how to add appendices, how to incorporate tables and graphs, etc. Anything you'll ever want to do in a scholarly paper and then some. If you're really feeling ambitious, here's a practice workbook (Amazon.com: Mastering APA Style: Student's Workbook and Training Guide Fifth Edition (9781557988911): Harold Gelfand, Charles J. Walker, American Psychological Association: Books: Reviews, Prices & more). Moreover, get a book on grammar. Sometimes I'll be writing a paper and just have a quick question on how to properly use ellipsis, or if I need a comma here or a semi-colon, or whatever. Throw "grammar" into Amazon and you'll get plenty of options, read the reviews till you find one that sounds good.

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by NutFreeFruitcake View Post
    Elements of Style by Strunk and White.
    Curses. Took my recommendation.

    There are books on how to write a lot (do it daily), books on how to write well (throw crap away), and books on which words to use (Strunk & White).

    However, writing is more than the sum of its mechanical components. You can have a sentence that is grammatically fine, but leaves the reader feeling flat and uninspired.

  6. #6

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by NightFox View Post
    There are really two ways you can approach this. The first, which I dislike, is a book on how to write. I'm an amateur author (science fiction), so I have books on such issue as character development, building a universe, integrating dialog with description with exposition, etc. So I have books from that standpoint. But I dislike it in terms of non-fiction writing (which I assume you're doing).

    What I do like is to not use a book that tells you how to write, but one which is written in the way that you want to write. Read a chapter. Then re-read a section. Then a sub-section. Then a paragraph. See how they develop it, how they word things, how the flow works. Meanwhile, write something non-fiction. Anything. Just choose a non-fiction topic you know something about. Then let it sit for a few days. Don't proofread it, don't look at it, don't think about it. After 2 days or so, read it straight through. By now, it won't "feel" like something you wrote because it isn't fresh. And then re-read a similarly-sized section in the book you're emulating*. Revise your work so it sounds more technical and more like the book you're working from. Let it sit a few days again. Repeat process.

    *Make sure the book you're emulating is a different topic, or you'll end up comparing content. If you're writing about the process of thermal overturning in a lake in winter, then use as your reference text a book on, IDK, the structure of the atom.

    I do suggest having some books as references. Get a book on APA Style. I use this one (Amazon.com: Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (9781557987907): American Psychological Society: Books). It tells you how to properly cite articles, yes, but it explains a lot of more things too: how to numerate pages properly, how to add appendices, how to incorporate tables and graphs, etc. Anything you'll ever want to do in a scholarly paper and then some. If you're really feeling ambitious, here's a practice workbook (Amazon.com: Mastering APA Style: Student's Workbook and Training Guide Fifth Edition (9781557988911): Harold Gelfand, Charles J. Walker, American Psychological Association: Books: Reviews, Prices & more). Moreover, get a book on grammar. Sometimes I'll be writing a paper and just have a quick question on how to properly use ellipsis, or if I need a comma here or a semi-colon, or whatever. Throw "grammar" into Amazon and you'll get plenty of options, read the reviews till you find one that sounds good.
    Thank you for the detailed post. I do have a manual on APA citation. I am looking more for books on advance academic writing. I am not quite sure how to explain it, but I want to be able to write like Robespierre, Marx, etc you know...the great academic writers. And most importantly, I don't ever want to come to a point in writing and say "IDK how to explain that" like I just did, lol.

  7. #7

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by diaperedteenager View Post
    I am not quite sure how to explain it, but I want to be able to write like Robespierre, Marx, etc you know...the great academic writers. And most importantly, I don't ever want to come to a point in writing and say "IDK how to explain that" like I just did, lol.
    Good. Fine.

    Now go back and read what I have written here.

    You already find yourself well within the trap I have illuminated. You are asking, I think, for a book on how to be an exceptional thinker and also possess exceptional skills in writing and communicating these thoughts.

    Such a book does not exist. If it did, it would sell 2 billion copies overnight and then crash the whole of written culture and idea exchange, as people would just write their own masterworks and never buy the work of others again.

    What you need is experience, patience, contemplation, practice, education, a bit of training, and a LOT of revising. That's it. That's the big secret. I'll even gift this knowledge to you and the world, gratis.

  8. #8

  9. #9

    Default

    I would also suggest listening or reading Reagan's speeches. He had some great writers and his delivery was also fantastic. Regardless of whether you are a Republican or Democrat, you would have to admit he was a great orator.

  10. #10

    Default

    I'd suggest Aristotle's book The Art of Rhetoric It's all about the keys to speaking persuasively. Explains the usage of Pathos Logos and Ethos, should help you.

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