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Line By Line Paperback – Import, 26 Dec 2007

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Product Description

About the Author

After earning her M.A. in English literature, Claire Kehrwald Cook taught English Composition fro three years at a midwestern university before she went into publishing. For the next eight years she worked for a major book company, rewriting problem manuscripts in the trade, business, and college departments. Since 1976 she has worked at the Modern Language Association, where she enjoys styling literary essays considered worthy of painstaking editorial efforts.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 69 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Editing Smarts 6 July 2015
By Amazon Customer JS - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All these books helped me enormously in my writing, the grammar and the tips. I have sold several articles. Great publishing tips!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 11 August 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
bought it for a friend. He loves it
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive - not compelling 24 May 2007
By B. G . - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you're fuzzy on the finer points of grammar, as so many of us seem to be, this book takes you by the hand and teaches you from the ground up. However, grammar doesn't make for a fascinating read. I've been working my way through this book for a few months. In short - a book every writer should read, just not expect to enjoy.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's probably a good book, but way too much information for what ... 17 June 2016
By Lorraine J. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's probably a good book, but way too much information for what I needed. I will keep it on hand though to refer back to if necessary.
58 of 71 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Might be good for editing the work of others but not for self-editing. 5 April 2012
By Michelen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fairly early in the book, the author explains that her professional background primarily involved editing the work of others. I've done some of that myself and it is tricky to fix grammar and clarify thoughts without losing the voice of the original author. When I edit my own work, adding clarity and conciseness matter more than maintaining the original. I had hoped this book would help me to be more concise in my writing. It doesn't. I had hoped I could learn enough tricks of the trade to make my work require less self-editing. No luck there either.

The author does not appear to give herself permission to really rewrite and edit her own examples. Many of the suggested corrections look like they were constrained to maintain sentence structure rather than be edited correctly. Within the first 20 pages of the book, we have "corrected" examples like the following...

"In his classical period Goethe was so taken with the concept of a single ideal of beauty that..."

"The boy that had chased the big dog before attacked him with the stick."

I thought perhaps I was being overly critical and asked other writers on a webmaster forum what they thought of those two sentences. Some agreed the sentences were generally socially acceptable but most agreed they were poorly constructed.

The grammar expert of our group, not me by any means, quickly jumped on both sentences. She called them both awful. Her frustration at books like this one showed in her rewrite of the second sentence.

She suggested that the first one should have been changed to something like: "During his classical period, Goethe was so taken with the concept of a single ideal of beauty that he blah."

The second one has an obvious pronoun/antecedent problem. Her suggested rewrite was: "The boy chased a big dog and then attacked him with the damn stick."

Before anyone goes there, the grammarian I consulted has not published a book and I have no suggestions for an alternative to this one.

I suppose the author did the best she could when editing the writing of others. Author's egos must be stroked and an editor doesn't want to insert themselves into the work. However, this was supposed to be a book about editing your own writing. When the examples of corrected writing are poorly constructed and even grammatically incorrect, it would seem the advice given offers little value.

I would not recommend this book.

And, by the way, to the folks who attacked the other negative review...in some parts of the world, they use advise instead of advice just like they use colour instead of color.