Rethinking College Writing Instruction

What they are saying about Readable Writing

“My students and I worked through the different exercises at the start of the book, starting with concrete nouns and then active verbs, flipping the passive active, avoiding there is/there are constructions, and so on. If you don’t let them write full essays for a while, and make them focus on the quality of sentences, they begin to get it. Their writing improved a lot this semester—it might be the best semester I’ve had. Their sentences got a lot better.”
–Kim Holcomb, OSU, freshman writing instructor and former reporter
“The workbook work we did was really helpful for me as a writer. It taught me a lot about things I had never even thought about that affect writing style and quality.”
–One of Kim’s students, post-semester evaluation
“Thanks for sending a copy of your Readable Writing Guide. The organization of it is superb. In fact, I don’t think that I’ve ever seen a similar book, which is saying a lot given the number of books about writing that exist.”
–Jerry Ceppos, professor of journalism and former dean, Manship School
of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University
“When I opened your Readable Writing Guide I loved it. Your five rules of readable writing are exactly what I try to teach!”
–Roxanne K. Dill, journalism writing instructor, LSU
“Wow. I picked up your Guide to browse through and loved its vision and straightforward practicality. It’s precisely wonderful. By redefining the conventional mission as ending up with readable, interesting sentences and texts, you [must have] have relaunched writing for a lot of tongue-tied kids. Feel free to use my above praise for promotion.”
–Mark Kramer, founder of the Nieman Journalism Fellowship program,
Harvard University.
“You do a wonderful job of showing students how to achieve a readable, active, and concrete style. Clearly, you pick up on the tradition that goes back to Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language.’ Your book is a real labor of love—love for writing and for good old-fashioned Anglo-Saxon words.”
–Thomas Newkirk, author of many books on writing,
including Minds Made for Stories and The Art of Slow Reading.

John G. Maguire
307 Market Street, #306
Lowell MA 01852