When a student has to cope with writing a paper, he/she usually refers to the Internet to learn how to write the particular piece in the style that the professor has requested. But, is the Internet always a trustworthy source? Can you rely on it? Of course, there are many excellent websites that have solid information on grammar, spelling, punctuation, citations, and so on. But, if there is some uncertainty about a site, it’s better to refer to the trusted books that have been great writer’s closest companions for years. Here is a list of the most recent books on academic writing that will become your best friends while writing papers for school.
1. The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr.
Strunk and White’s classic has been gracing the desks of the studious for a long time now, and there’s a good reason: among the best books for essay writing, it stands far above the rest in its concise, clear directions on how to write. It is pocket-size, for your convenience, so you won’t be tempted to leave it at home. You can read it through and then refer to it for all your questions on how to write correctly and precisely, so your reader understands what you mean without confusion.
2. The Chicago Manual of Style by the University of Chicago Press
Wondering whether or not you should capitalize that word? Curious whether the term you are using is still considered politically correct? Asking yourself how you’re supposed to know whether or not a dash is needed? The Chicago Manual of Style won’t let you down. After your student years come to the end, you’ll still be getting your money’s worth, as authors, editors, and professional writers everywhere consider it their bible. It is a big book, so you will be using it more as a reference, but oh, what a valuable reference it will be.
3. Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations by John Bartlett
If you love being a know-it-all, sneaking a peek at Bartlett’s now and then will make your papers sing. There is nothing like the words of someone else to make you seem just that much smarter, and you’ll have the best quotes to choose from in this classic tome. A penny saved may be a penny earned (Poor Richard’s Almanac), but you will save yourself from a writer’s block by purchasing a copy of Bartlett’s.
4. Revising Prose by Richard A. Lanham
While Richard Lanham’s guide may not be the most famous writing book on the market, it’s one of the most helpful for those who tend toward wordiness. He’s famous for his terse, pithy revisions of tedious texts, and you’d do well to give your papers the once-over with his methods for saying what you’re going to say in the briefest, richest way possible.
5. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing by Gary Provost
If your sentences are leaden, dull, and stiff, bring them to life. 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing is the kind of book that changes not only the way you write, but also the way you read. It is full of stories. It does not preach. It leads you down a path to seeing what you are writing, so that fewer revisions are necessary. In short, you cannot do without it.
There is no reason to be upset if you have no idea what to write about, or how to arrange your thoughts, or even where to put a comma to sound correctly. Get these books to be your desk companions, and enjoy your writing.