This article was prepared by Edusson Community.
Writing effective essays has to be one of the most used and most misunderstood skills that college students are called on to use. If you feel you could use some added advice and instruction on writing, here are five must-have books.
The books listed here variously provide a writing guide, a writing process that works for essays and other non-fiction pieces, and a guide to writing styles that suit different writing projects.
100 Ways to Improve Your Writing (Gary Provost)
This is a book about improving as a writer in general.
The “100 ways” in the title references the 100 tips in the book. You will learn how to improve as a writer if you are not writing, how to write a strong beginning to a story or article, how to organize your thoughts, how to improve your use of language, and how to edit.
If you struggle with avoiding grammar and punctuation errors, two sections of the book address those issues. If you struggle to edit, 100 Ways offers seven tips to make you better at essay writing and essay editing.
You can learn how to write great essay hooks and essay outlines by following the advice there or in the next two books.
On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction (William Zinsser)
This has been a standard writing reference book and a favorite of writers since it came out in 1976.
You will learn how to write more clearly, organize your thoughts, revise effectively, and approach writing (and editing) with the right attitude.
Zinsser also offers practical advice on some common types of non-fiction subjects, like science and technology articles and business writing. The chapter on business writing alone is almost enough to justify picking up a used copy.
The Elements of Style (William Strunk and E.B. White)
This iconic, and short book by Strunk and White should be required reading for all college students.
Strunk and White gives a short, non-nonsense course on using the parts of speech, constructing effective sentences, and writing solid paragraphs.
The book also includes a guide to commonly misused words and phrases. If you only have time or money for one good book on writing, it should be this.
Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
This is both an inspirational book, and a guide to becoming a better writer.
Lamott’s audience here is mostly writers of fiction and poetry, but her book is also helpful for writers of essays and other nonfiction pieces.
As stated in the subtitle, this book offers a combination of writing advice and advice on living the life of a writer.
It might be helpful to anyone who plans to write extensively and probably a must for anyone interested in writing as a career. Read it in conjunction with another book that focuses on the mechanics of planning and writing.
Revising Prose (Richard Lanham)
As the title indicates, this book is about editing and improving what you already have.
Never, ever submit anything for a class or for a work assignment without doing some self-editing. If you need help with editing your work for maximum quality, the methodology and the exercises in this short book will help.
This book is mostly about fixing what you wrote, so buy it alongside a book on effective writing.
Build Your Writing Reference Library:
Effective writing is crucial for success in school and in a huge variety of good jobs. Yet, a student cannot depend on picking up what they need from some college courses and the accompanying writing assignments.
If you read the writing books described here, and refer back to them as needed, your writing will be much stronger. All five of these books from
All five of these books included in this list of famous essay writers are readily available on Amazon.com or in larger brick-and-mortar book stores. Buy a couple of the copies, read one, use what you learned in your next essay.