On Writing Well - Study Guide Part II: Chapter 10 Bits & Pieces Summary & Analysis

William Zinsser
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Part II ends with a brief look at grammar and other observations. The English language is rich with words, which is one of its great strengths. Few well-chosen verbs and nouns ever need adverbs or adjectives because the good words carry the impressions already. Many small expressions can be trimmed from writing as well, which solidifies the ideas and builds reader trust.

The use of exclamation points should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, which is hardly ever outside of dialog. Whatever astonishment exists should come through the writing itself, not the punctuation. Semicolons are useful only sometimes, and they tend to make the writing appear as an older style from the 19th century. Dashes are very useful—they act as pointers to a point. In other cases—often while in the middle of a thought—the...

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This section contains 775 words
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